Entergy's MISO Move Finishes as Company Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 12:00 am  

Even so, there was at least one roadblock, McDonald said, when Missouri’s commission required some conditions that Entergy couldn’t meet.

“We don’t have any customers in Missouri,” McDonald said. “But we have 87 miles of transmission lines.”

Entergy asked for a rehearing, McDonald said, and several weeks ago the commission granted Entergy’s request. “That removed the last major regulatory hurdle that we saw,” he said.

The rest of the cutover work was logistical.

“It’s involved a lot,” Castleberry said. “Moving data centers, building new office environments, re-engineering a lot of the company’s business processes, making investments of computer software and hardware. Then you could think about training people — this is a new world for us. We have participated in a lot of MISO training classes, over 1,800 at the last count, and we have made significant changes and investments in software systems needed for MISO. You’ve got to test all those software systems, and we’ve conducted over 2,500 test cases to make sure we can operate at MISO.”

Entergy had to participate in 23 MISO committees during the process. The transition involved constant testing: Castleberry said just the last couple of months have seen four simulations of MISO’s market system.

During the past two years, the company tracked the number of milestones it’s passed in getting to the integration goal. Castleberry said that number has reached 1,200.

“But we’re almost to the end,” he said.

McDonald said the integration effort involved about 600 Entergy employees.

The cutover also impacted other companies in the state. Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., for example, had to update all of its systems to accommodate the MISO markets, and will also have to integrate Southwest Power Pool’s new market systems in March.

“It’s been interesting in that it touches all parts of the company,” said Keith Sugg, vice president of integration at AECC. “It’s been a companywide effort. We put together teams for various functions like things related to communications to power plants, IT people, marketing people and several teams that cross departments. These groups have done the work they’ve needed to do to meet the market requirements and timelines that both MISO and SPP have set up.

“From the perspective of engaging, in essence, the entire company at once, it’s been interesting and a little bit unique.”



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