One thing is clear: unless the regional transmission organization that guides the pricing most Louisianans pay for their electricity halts its drift towards placing ideology ahead of customer welfare, the part of the state served by Entergy must find an alternative arrangement.
At last month’s Public Service Commission meeting, consultants registered a warning about the policy direction of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. This RTO is comprised of power providers in 15 states and Manitoba, split into three regions. Entergy’s operations in New Orleans, regulated by the city, and in most of the rest of the state, regulated by the Public Service Commission, are affected; the northwest corner of the state served by American Electric Power subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power is part of another RTO called the Southwest Power Pool.
Ideally, an RTO by integrating power production across multiple providers and borders can increase reliability in provision for customers included by drawing upon more sources. However, member entities sacrifice some control over generation and pricing, most particularly on capital expenditures for transmission. Several such voluntarily organizations exist encompassing over half the states, but not areas of Mississippi not served by Entergy or the remainder of deep south states (except for a swath of North Carolina). These parts of Entergy with its Arkansas and Texas subsidiaries form one of three MISO sub-regions which have some autonomy within the organization.