FERC approves MISO as Entergy’s independent transmission coordinator

FERC has approved the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) operating companies’ request to appoint the Midwest ISO (MISO) as their independent coordinator of transmission (ICT), MISO said Oct. 3.

In the ICT role, MISO will serve as the reliability coordinator for the Entergy region, manage long-term transmission planning and conduct Entergy’s weekly power procurement process. MISO also said that its independent market monitor will oversee operations in the region, providing additional security to market participants.

MISO noted that it provides its Day 2 market experience and insight for market participants in the Entergy region, assuring that market participants and regulators have access to increased data and transparency across the region.

The cost for MISO to serve as ICT is almost $4m less than the current contract, MISO said, adding that it will provide these services in the interim period between the expiration of the current contract in December until the planned integration of Entergy into MISO by December 2013.

In its Oct. 2 order, FERC said it finds that the existing ICT agreement has had a positive effect on operations and planning in the Entergy region, due in large part to the ICT’s direct and substantial involvement and oversight.

Among other things, FERC said it rejects certain parties’ contention that the transition of ICT function from Southwest Power Pool to MISO is premature because of regulatory uncertainty, noting that the filing is timely as it addresses an expiring agreement. Also, the regulatory uncertainty is not created by the proposal; rather the uncertainty relates to Entergy’s proposal to transfer functional control of its facilities to MISO. The transaction to transfer the functional control of assets is not before FERC at this time, the commission said.

FERC also rejected the contentions that it should deny the transition of ICT functions to MISO because SPP is better positioned to provide the services, noting that the arguments misstate FERC’s scope of review. “[T]he commission must determine whether the ICT agreement is consistent with or superior to the pro forma OATT and just and reasonable as proposed,” FERC said. “Therefore, considering if SPP is better positioned than MISO to provide ICT services is not a basis for determining whether Entergy’s filing is just and reasonable.”

Mark McCulla, vice president of transmission regulatory compliance with Entergy, told TransmissionHub Oct. 3: “FERC clearly underscored that the ICT arrangement has been good for Entergy, the operating companies and our customers. They confirmed that MISO is capable and experienced at providing that service, so it certainly allows the operating companies and our customers to obtain the benefits of the MISO experience, while also providing MISO the opportunity to become more familiar with the operating companies’ transmission system and the generation and loads that utilize that system.”

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3016 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.