HOUSTON Dec 10 New Orleans-based Entergy Corp
is scheduled to turn over day-to-day control of its
15,000-mile (24,000-km), four-state transmission network later
this month when it joins the Midcontinent Independent System
The move, after more than a decade of delays and wrangling,
will lead to independent control of the high-voltage grid used
by utilities and power generators across Louisiana, Arkansas,
southeast Texas and western Mississippi.
Here is a timeline of Entergy's long road to joining the
MISO, a regional transmission organization (RTO), created to
fulfill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) 1996
orders to encourage competition between power generators by
requiring open access to transmission:
1996-99: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues
orders to promote competition in electric generation by ensuring
fair access to transmission and outlining requirements for
regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Utility membership
1997: Entergy utilities withdraw from the Southwest Power
Pool (SPP) after SPP moves to become an RTO for the eight-state
area that includes Entergy's service territory.
Late 1990s: Regulators reject Entergy's first proposal a
for-profit, independent "transco" consisting of its four-state
2000-01: Federal regulators reject Entergy plan to join its
transco into an RTO with the Southwest Power Pool.
2001: FERC approves MISO as the first regional transmission
2001-03: Entergy drops two proposals to join RTOs being
formed by Southern Co and other utilities: Grid South and
SeTrans. Both failed to garner state and federal regulatory
approval over governance issues.
2006: FERC orders Entergy to put its grid under partial
third-party oversight. The Independent Coordinator of
Transmission, or ICT, did little to satisfy power plant and
June 2009: A public meeting brought together regulators from
all four Entergy states and FERC in Charleston, South Carolina,
to listen to grievances against the ICT entity. State
regulators, with FERC backing, began working together formally
to force changes at Entergy.
2009: Entergy's plan to move its Texas utility unit under
oversight of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
fails to find favor with state regulators due to high cost.
2009: Prodded by the Arkansas Public Service Commission and
the committee of Entergy's state regulators, Entergy begins to
study the benefits of joining the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).
2010: Entergy discloses that the U.S. Justice Department has
launched a civil investigation into its competitive businesses,
including operation of its transmission system.
April 2011: Entergy utilities propose joining the MISO,
citing its superior benefits over SPP membership.
December 2011: Entergy and ITC Holdings announce an
agreement under which Entergy would divest its transmission
operation and then merge the business into an ITC subsidiary
called ITC Midsouth LLC.
November 2012: In a release, DOJ says Entergy must join an
RTO and divest its transmission system to resolve the antitrust
division's concerns "by eliminating Entergy's ability to
maintain barriers to wholesale power markets, ensuring that all
Entergy service area generation is dispatched independently and
at lowest cost, increasing market transparency and oversight,
and properly aligning incentives for the construction of
November 2012: Entergy obtains final approval from utility
regulators in Mississippi and the City of New Orleans to join
March 2013: Entergy agrees to pay $975,000 to settle a FERC
claim that it violated 15 reliability standards related to its
December 2013: Entergy is set to integrate its grid
operations into MISO.