Southwest Power Pool better choice for Arkansas customers and local community
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In its post-hearing filing, made today at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) emphasized the benefits to all Arkansas electricity customers of Entergy joining its regional transmission organization (RTO). The Commission is currently considering whether Entergy Arkansas (EAI) should join Little Rock-based SPP; Midwest ISO (MISO), a Carmel, Indiana-based organization; or operate as a stand-alone entity.
SPP asked the Commission to find that SPP membership for EAI is in the public interest and the only prudent decision, based on the Commission’s defined role in regional transmission organization governance; projected cost savings for EAI and Arkansas customers; timing and certainty of full integration of EAI; and SPP’s extensive hands-on experience with EAI. This decision impacts not only EAI customers, but all Arkansas ratepayers.
The Commission has a historic opportunity to simplify utility operations in Arkansas, serving the public interest and providing savings to all Arkansas ratepayers. “Where utilities’ and regional organizations’ service territories meet are called seams, which require significant coordination and administration to determine how the inter-connected system will work, how planning will occur, and how transactions will be accounted for,” explained Carl Monroe, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer for SPP. “This adds complexity that is eliminated with the integration of systems into one operating region, reducing overall costs for everyone.” Other Arkansas electric providers, representing about half of the state’s customers, already participate in SPP. It is estimated they, too, will see an overall cost decrease of approximately $159 million, $34 million of which would be saved by their Arkansas ratepayers.
Quantifiable savings occur with EAI’s membership in an RTO, according to independent studies solicited by the APSC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), based on assumptions vetted by FERC, the Entergy Regional State Committee, and other interested stakeholders. Entergy and MISO have virtually no history of working together. Integrating Entergy into MISO would require significantly more preparation, including approval by FERC of certain waivers to MISO’s tariff, which are currently on file and have generated many protests and interventions. It is estimated the Entergy/MISO integration could take up to 14 years to complete. In contrast, Entergy and SPP have a long history together. SPP currently serves as the Independent Coordinator of Transmission for all the Entergy companies. These services include reliability coordination, transmission planning, and tariff administration. Integrating Entergy into the SPP region would be relatively easy.
“According to the independently performed study, in addition to the positive impact to ratepayers, approximately $50 million dollars in benefits will accrue annually to central Arkansas through provision of services and additional job growth if EAI and the other Entergy companies join SPP,” said Nick Brown, President and CEO of SPP. “Certainly we would prefer to see these benefits develop and remain in central Arkansas.”
Related filings and fact sheets on the Benefits of Entergy Joining SPP and Regulatory Considerations for Entergy Membership are posted to SPP.org.
About Southwest Power Pool, Inc.
Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a group of 64 members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, and Texas that serve more than 15 million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal
systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers, and independent
transmission companies. SPP's footprint includes 48,930 miles of transmission lines, and 370,000 square miles of service territory. SPP
was a founding member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in 1968, and was designated by the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission as a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) in 2004 and a Regional Entity (RE) in 2007. As an RTO, SPP
ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. The SPP RE
oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development. Read more fast facts or watch a video about SPP.