Cleco Power made its first official filing that starts the company down a strategic path to join the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or MISO.

By filing a change of control request with the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Cleco is requesting to become part of a regional transmission organization (RTO) that manages one of the largest electric markets in the nation. MISO has a developed market that will produce benefits for Cleco customers through increased reliability and more efficient dispatch of generation.

"As our market structure changes, Cleco is positioned well to participate in MISO, known for the value it creates for its members and their customers through strict market oversight," said Bruce Williamson, president and CEO of Cleco Corp. "Cleco's fleet is environmentally sound, well maintained and should perform well under MISO's operating guidelines. MISO's focus on maintaining viable generation in its market and its experience in planning and operating the transmission grid will create efficiencies for our customers and ensure their power needs are met for years to come."

If approved, the change of control will facilitate Cleco's transfer of functional control of certain transmission assets to MISO that includes transmission planning and congestion management. MISO also would dispatch generation within Cleco's balancing area. Cleco will retain ownership of its transmission and generation assets and maintain responsibility for local system reliability planning.

"Our proposal is to join MISO in January 2014," said Williamson. "Being a member of MISO will accentuate the strength of Cleco's core assets and will continue the high level of reliability from efficiently produced power that our customers have received for more than 75 years."