Entergy, MISO clear final hurdle

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Utility regulators in New Orleans and Mississippi on Friday approved Entergy's proposal to join with the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO), marking the end of a long regulatory process and putting the integration on track for its anticipated December 2013 completion.

The two decisions were the final of a series of retail regulatory rulings that were required to approve the deal, which also effects Entergy operating companies in Arkansas and Texas. The deal brings $284 million in estimated savings for Entergy Mississippi customers and a total of $1.4 billion for customers system wide over a 10-year period, the utility said.

"MISO's massive footprint and its experience in operating day-ahead and real-time regional energy markets make it the right fit for our customers. MISO also helps us prepare to meet the demands of a city with a growing appetite for reliable, affordable electricity," said Charles Rice, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Entergy New Orleans, in a statement following Friday's approval. 

Moving an entire utility system over to the MISO system was no easy task. Regulatory approval first began in May 2012 and required individual review by all parties involved, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in order to determine if the deal was in the public interest.

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