Customers are racking up savings thanks to Entergy Louisiana's membership in MISO, the regional transmission organization in the Midwest, the utility announced earlier this month.
Customers have saved approximately $286 million in the three years since Entergy Louisiana joined MISO, formally known as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Entergy Louisiana is now asking the Louisiana Public Service Commission to approve its continued participation in MISO, which it formally joined in December 2013.
MISO manages the flow of power on the transmission grid, facilitates the planning of new transmission facilities, and operates markets for the purchase and sale of wholesale energy and other products. Its market footprint stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The estimated $286 million in savings realized between 2014 and 2016 is largely attributable to two factors: (1) the more efficient dispatch of power plants on the transmission grid, resulting in a lower delivered cost of energy; and (2) reducing the number of power plants that the company must maintain in reserve and have ready to run if needed. MISO members share generation reserves across the organization's footprint, producing long-term benefits and savings for customers.
"Our membership in MISO has been a highly effective tool in helping us control costs and keep our rates among the lowest in the nation," said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. "We believe our participation in MISO will continue to produce significant savings in the years ahead, helping keep energy costs down so we can continue to help grow Louisiana’s economy."
Entergy Louisiana's average residential rates were more than 30 percent below the national average, according to 2016 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
"Even adjusting for the effects of lower natural gas prices in recent years, which reduce the cost of generating electricity, in just the first three years of our membership in MISO Entergy Louisiana customers have saved $115 million more than what was originally projected when the commission approved our joining MISO," May said.
When the LPSC approved Entergy Louisiana's request to join MISO, it required the company to apply to extend its MISO membership beyond an initial five-year transition period, which ends in December 2018.
“The LPSC was the first of the Entergy region’s retail regulators to approve joining MISO, and it's proven to be an extremely beneficial decision for our customers. I believe the analysis we have presented to the commission in the current proceeding also presents a compelling case for continued participation in MISO," May said.