National Grid to manage MISO’s fifth transmission-only company
CARMEL, Ind., June 24, 2002 — The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) announced recently that Ameren Corp., FirstEnergy Corp. and Northern Indiana Public Service Co., a subsidiary of NiSource Inc., have executed a letter of intent to join the regional transmission organization as an independent transmission company, GridAmerica LLC, managed by National Grid USA.
Under the terms of the letter of intent, which was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday, June 20, 2002, the newly formed transco will operate as a for-profit, transmission-only company under a special MISO membership category known as Appendix I. The parties agreed to negotiate a definitive Appendix I agreement by July 3, 2002. The parties also agreed that GridAmerica would begin operations under MISO within six months of signing the definitive Appendix I agreement.
“The formation of this transco highlights the flexibility of the Midwest ISO’s transmission owners’ agreement, which is designed to accommodate a variety of business models, including for-profit transmission companies,” said James P. Torgerson, president and chief executive officer of the Midwest ISO. “GridAmerica’s inclusion in the Midwest ISO will also advance the development of efficient, competitive wholesale electric markets in the Midwest.”
Federal approval of GridAmerica would bring to five the number of transmission-only companies within the Midwest ISO. The others are American Transmission Co. LLC; Detroit Edison’s International Transmission Company; TransElect’s wholly-owned subsidiary Michigan Electric Transmission Company; and TRANSLink, a group of six investor-owned and public power utilities that includes MISO members Alliant Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy (for Northern States Power Co. Minnesota and Northern States Power Co. Wisconsin).
FERC approved the Midwest ISO as the nation’s first regional transmission organization (RTO) on Dec. 20, 2001. RTOs are responsible for ensuring the reliable operation of the wholesale electric transmission system and for ensuring fair access to the system. Headquartered in central Indiana, the Midwest ISO serves as an agent for its transmission-owning members, controlling an interconnected transmission grid in all or parts of 15 states and parts of Canada.