The Arkansas Public Service Commission issued a report late last week that enumerates more than a dozen concerns regarding Entergy Arkansas' potential move to regional transmission coordinator, Midwest Indpendent System Operator (MISO).
The finding, which you can read here, says that Entergy Arkansas “has not filled out certain qualitative conditions required by the Commission,” which has been meeting for more than a year to study the possible move.
Entergy Arkansas wants to join MISO's transmission operations group to coordinate its electricity purchases and deliveries. MISO, headquartered in Carmel, Ind., coordinates electricity movement across an 11-state grid, while Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool (SPP), does the same over a 9-state region.
Entergy contends that MISO offers a more advanced system for electricity trading than SPP and it has spent months laying out its arguments with the PSC and other groups to argue why MISO is the best option.
The PSC has been deliberative in studying the move, emphasizing that its primary concerns are Entergy Arkansas' independence from its parent company and sister state organizations. The commission also wants to ensure that it maintains a level of intervening control to protect Arkansas ratepayers regardi
ng Entergy Arkansas' business decisions.
In the recent PSC order, the three-member regulatory panel said, “The Arkansas Public Service Commission concludes, at this time, that it is unable to reach a finding that EAI's (Entergy Arkansas') Application is in the public interest.”
The PSC said Entergy Arkansas had not met “certain qualitative conditions” regarding concerns raised by the panel, such as stand-alone independence in certain decision-making areas and resource planning and operations. The commission also said it had concerns over the potential loss of oversight of Entergy by the PSC.
“Upon a finding by the Commission that EAI and MISO have, in fact, complied with the conditions, the Commission will grant conditional approval of EAI's Application, as being in the public interest, and authorize EAI to sign the MISO Transmission Owners Agreement (TOA) and move forward with the MISO integration process,” the commission said.
It could also deny Entergy's move to MISO — an action that could restart a nearly 7-year process. Entergy filed notice in 2005 that it wanted out of its parent company contract for transmission coordination after a federal regulatory ruling skewed multi-state costs onto Entergy Arkansas ratepayers’ bills. The 8-year exit path has seen Entergy Arkansas back off from an effort to reshape a system agreement with Entergy Corp. and it has resulted in Entergy’s present effort to join MISO.