Improved Electrical Transmission Systems In Arkansas Costing Millions

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 12:00 am  

“If you ask them, they refuse,” he said. “They do not take a position in the market.”

But it makes sense, Sugg said — utilities can become competitors, and the operators are simply protecting their knowledge base. So AECC has sought out authorities that can help in a situation that’s largely unique. This has included both business consultants and other utilities.

For example, Sugg said some AECC workers will soon visit Dairyland Power Cooperative in Wisconsin, which joined MISO in 2010.

“We’ll spend a day with them and talk about how their MISO integration went and what their successes and failures were, and some things to watch out for in the market,” Sugg said.

Overall, Sugg said, he’s found that utilities both countrywide and in Arkansas

have been surprisingly open about the process.

“Westar, for instance, invited us out and spent time with our settlement people and discussed pros and cons,” he said, speaking of an energy company in Topeka, Kan.

“We’ve met with Entergy for market prep.”

Rob Roedel, manager of corporate communications for AECC, noted that a recent directors’ conference included a panel with officials from Entergy, MISO and AECC.

“That shows a new form of openness I’ve not seen before,” he said.

“It’s a common goal,” Sugg said. “That tends to draw people together. It’s been great working with these other companies and sharing information. It’s extremely helpful.”

But in the end, will these millions of dollars spent on integration actually benefit ratepayers?



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