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Industry News

FERC Approves Entergy's Proposal to Establish Independent Coordinator of Transmission

LCG, March 23, 2005--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday approved a proposal from Entergy Corp. (Entergy) to establish an Independent Coordinator of Transmission (ICT) that would oversee the operations and planning of Entergy's electric transmission system. With the change, the FERC anticipates hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer savings caused by more efficient grid operations.

The ICT is expected to be the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which operates in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. In 2004, the FERC approved SPP as a regional transmission operator (RTO).

The FERC limited Entergy's transmission pricing proposal to two years and directed Entergy to file additional information to clarify the ICT's duties, responsibilities and authority regarding requests for transmission service. Additional information was also requested from Entergy regarding its methodology for providing firm transmission rights to customers who pay for transmission upgrades.

Consistent with the direction of RTOs elsewhere in the nation, the FERC encouraged Entergy and the ICT to eliminate rate pancaking for transmission between systems. The actual progress in the Entergy region - and the Southeast in general - toward achieving the transparent, competitive markets set forth by the FERC in its Order 2000 and its Standard Market Design remains quite limited. In contrast, elsewhere in the Eastern Interconnect RTOs or independent system operators (ISOs), such as ISO New England, the New York ISO, PJM and - come April 1 - the Midwest ISO, have evolved dramatically and have implemented many of the market design features desired by the FERC.

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