PSC pulls effort to remove Louisiana from MISO from its agenda

Repair crews working on power lines. (File photo)

Efforts by some state officials to withdraw Louisiana from the interstate power grid that brought competition to a market once dominated by Entergy have stalled. A day before it was to hold a vote on the matter, the Louisiana Public Service Commission postponed a proposal to issue a one-year notice of withdrawal from the MISO power grid. 

MISO stands for Midcontinent Independent System Operator and is a nonprofit association that manages the power grid across 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba, providing electricity to 42 million people.   

District 5 Commissioner Foster Campbell, who represents northern Louisiana, said he was pleased to learn Tuesday morning that the commission’s Nov. 17 meeting agenda had been revised to reflect the motion as deferred. He said he did not know who made the change. 

“They took it off, and I don’t think you’ll hear any more out of it,” Campbell says.

The motion was originally proposed and placed on the agenda by District 1 Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, who represents the southeastern areas of the state outside of New Orleans. Skrmetta could not be reached by phone Tuesday morning.

Concerned with the costs of wind farm projects being considered for approval in northern states, Skrmetta last month proposed withdrawing from MISO and exploring membership options with other power grid operators. He said wind power was “unreliable.”

In an email to the Illuminator last week, MISO officials said the wind projects would not cost Louisiana anything.  

Any motion marked “deferred” is automatically taken up at the next scheduled meeting, PSC press secretary Colby Cook says. The commission’s next meeting is Dec. 14.