by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Public Service Commission is hailing as a "tremendous victory for Arkansas ratepayers" a decision by U.S. Appeals court upholding the right of Entergy Arkansas to withdraw from its operating agreement with other Entergy member utilties without any obligations to the others.
Louisiana parties had argued that Entergy Arkansas should have to pay an "exit fee" when it left at the end of 2013. Entergy Arkansas began taking steps in 2005 to leave the agreement because past Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rulings saddled Arkansas ratepayers with some $500 million in costs so far to equalize production costs among the various operating utilities.
Here's the news release from the PSC.
This would seem to contribute at least somewhat to an appearance of greater independence for Entergy Arkansas that the PSC said was vital in its consideration of the company's desire to form a new relationship with the regional electricity transmission concern known as MISO. Entergy wants to do a deal with MISO. The PSC has been reluctant to approve the deal. The Southwest Power Pool, another regional power coordinator based in Little Rock, also wants the business. The PSC has set a list of conditions Entergy must meet to join with MISO.