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Industry News

Ameren to Follow ComEd, Illinois PowerOut of Midwest Independent System

LCG, Nov. 10, 2000--Ameren Corp. yesterday notified the Midwest System Operator that it would withdraw from the ISO and take its wires with it, joining Commonwealth Edison Co. and Illinois Power Co. in the shift to the Alliance Regional Transmission Operator.

Neither the Midwest ISO nor the Alliance RTO has as yet been certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The switch to Alliance from the ISO was made with the feeling that the possibility of profit could be a motivating factor in successful operation of regional transmission systems, and the earlier decisions by ComEd and Illinois Power influenced Ameren.

"Following recent announcements by Illinois Power and Commonwealth Edison of their intent to withdraw from the Midwest ISO and join Alliance, we have determined that the operational configuration of the Midwest ISO is unacceptable," said David A. Whiteley, an Ameren vice president.

Stan Szwed, a vice president of First Energy Corp. who is also chairman of the Alliance management committee, welcomed the new member. "Ameren joins not only Illinois Power and Commonwealth Edison but also American Electric Power, Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison, VirginiaPower, and First Energy in an alliance that will serve customers in 11 contiguous states," he said.

He left out Dayton Power & Light Co. and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. Those utilities have also filed with FERC to join Alliance.

The Midwest ISO took the announcement stoically. "We are of course very disappointed that they have made this request," said Matt Cordaro, chief executive of the nonprofit organization, adding "We will be meeting with stakeholder groups next week to deal with recent developments."

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