From the Wires
Entergy Utilities Receive Green Light for MISO
Regulators clear path for $1.4 billion in projected customer savings
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 15, 2012 03:11 PM
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Paving the way for significant customer savings, regulators in New Orleans and Mississippi today issued decisions supporting proposals by the Entergy operating companies they regulate to join the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO, in December 2013. These actions complete all of the retail regulatory decisions needed for the six Entergy operating companies to move forward with their plan to join MISO.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission decision allows for up to $284 million in estimated savings over the next decade for Entergy Mississippi's customers. In Louisiana, the New Orleans City Council decision is projected to result in more than $40 million in savings to New Orleans electric customers.
Across Entergy's operating companies' footprint, customer savings are projected to reach $1.4 billion in the first decade of MISO membership. Independent studies also forecast significant economic value for electric co-operatives, independent power producers, municipalities and other industry participants, resulting from the move to MISO.
"This represents a huge step forward in our effort to ensure a robust, efficient electrical system serving the future of our city," said Charles Rice, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans. "MISO's massive footprint and its experience in operating day-ahead and real-time regional energy markets make it the right fit for our customers. MISO also helps us prepare to meet the demands of a city with a growing appetite for reliable, affordable electricity."
In Mississippi, Haley Fisackerly, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Mississippi said, "It's clear that MISO is good for our customers and the communities we serve – and we're appreciative of our commission's decision that joining MISO is in the public interest. This forward-thinking initiative will produce savings for customers and enhance Mississippi's economically competitive position."
Today's decisions fulfill requests by Entergy's operating companies to transfer functional control of their transmission facilities to MISO in December 2013. The Louisiana Public Service Commission issued the first ruling in May followed by Arkansas and Texas regulators in October. Each request to join MISO was subjected to extensive review as retail regulators sought to ensure that the proposed move would serve the public interest.
"The Entergy operating companies noted from the very beginning that the greatest benefits would accrue to our customers if all of the operating companies join MISO at the same time," said Theo Bunting, president of utility operations for Entergy Services, Inc. "That makes today's rulings great news not only for our customers in New Orleans and Mississippi, but also for our customers everywhere the Entergy operating companies serve.
"In New Orleans, Mississippi and throughout the region, our local teams have worked closely with their regulators, staffs and advisors, and stakeholders to demonstrate that the move to MISO is in the best interest of our customers and all of those who are served by our transmission system," added Bunting. "We're pleased that our retail regulators have determined that MISO is in the public interest. Now there's a lot of work to do to implement the move to MISO and thus seize these benefits for our customers."
MISO is the oldest and one of the largest regional transmission organizations – a firm that manages congestion on the grid and operates sophisticated markets for the purchase and sale of electricity. The savings projected with MISO are largely attributable to its organized power markets, which allow for a more efficient commitment and dispatch of generating plants, to economies of scale offered by an RTO of MISO's size, and to MISO's transmission cost allocation methodology that equitably allocates the costs of transmission projects to those receiving the benefits from those projects.
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility providing electricity to more than 160,000 customers and natural gas to more than 100,000 customers in Orleans Parish, La. Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 437,000 customers in 45 counties. Both are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in: (i) Entergy Corporation's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011; and (ii) Entergy Corporation's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy Corporation and its subsidiaries; (f) conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and subsequent securities filings, and (g) risks inherent in the proposed spin-off and subsequent merger of Entergy Corporation's electric transmission business into a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. Entergy Corporation cannot provide any assurances that the spin-off and merger transaction will be completed and cannot give any assurance as to the terms on which such transaction will be consummated. The spin-off and merger transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals and approval by ITC Holdings Corp. shareholders.
SOURCE Entergy Corporation
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