The merger between the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) and Southwest Power Pool Inc. (SPP), moved closer to completion on 3/29/01 when MISO filed the necessary documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow the consolidation to proceed with an anticipated closing date sometime this summer. When finalized, the combined organization will operate an interconnected transmission system encompassing more than 120,000 megawatts of generation capacity over 20 U.S. states and 1 Canadian province.

MISO is requesting approval of changes to the MISO Transmission Owners' Agreement to accommodate an increase in the number of directors for the resulting company's Board of Directors. MISO is also seeking to include Schedule 1 of SPP's Open Access Transmission Tariff in the resulting company's tariff to ensure only one cost recovery mechanism.

”We are very excited about the consolidation with SPP,” said James P. Torgerson, President and CEO of MISO. “This move will enable much of the nation's mid-section to benefit from a single large Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).”

Torgerson, as chief executive officer, and SPP's Nick Brown, as chief operating officer, will lead the as yet unnamed organization.

The FERC approved the MISO as the nation's first RTO on Dec. 19, 2001. On Feb. 1, 2002, the MISO began providing regional transmission service for the movement of bulk power in the MISO footprint. The MISO is responsible for evaluating and coordinating requests for access to the regional power grid on a non-discriminatory basis and for ensuring the reliable operation of the wholesale electric transmission system.

Southwest Power Pool was founded in 1941 to provide reliable power to industries manufacturing for the military. SPP was one of the original regional councils of the North American Electric Reliability Council and continues in that capacity today. The company began Open Access Same-time Information System administration in 1995 and regional tariff administration in 1997. SPP began providing control area scheduling service this year.