Three Midwestern U.S. electric utilities -- Ameren Corporation (Ameren; St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.), FirstEnergy Corp. (Akron, Ohio, U.S.) and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO; Merrillville, Indiana, U.S.) along with National Grid USA (Westborough, Massachusetts, U.S.) on June 20 proposed joining the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO; Carmel, Indiana, U.S.) through the companies' participation in an independent transmission company (ITC).
The three Midwest utility companies also signed a letter of intent with National Grid outlining how National Grid will manage this ITC named GridAmerica, LLC.
The MISO arrangements were filed Thursday, June 20, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Pending FERC approval of a definitive agreement, National Grid will serve as the managing member of GridAmerica and will manage the transmission assets of the three utility companies and participate in the MISO on behalf of GridAmerica.
The FERC determined National Grid is qualified as a non-market participant to be a managing member within MISO. With the approval of GridAmerica and the terms under which all three companies will join MISO, National Grid will assume responsibility for the start-up and operation of GridAmerica.
The terms of the MISO membership and the establishment of GridAmerica provide for the following key provisions:
- An operation agreement outlining how GridAmerica would exercise functional control -- consistent with recent FERC orders -- over the transmission facilities of transmission owners.
- An LLC agreement describing the business structure under which GridAmerica, under the authority of MISO, would be formed and operated.
GridAmerica would be a regulated, for-profit transmission company, focused on providing customer service and reliable transmission service to power generators, marketers and load-serving entities in the region; investing in top-rate management, operators and facilities; and seeking approval for appropriate transmission pricing to support the competitive electricity marketplace.