Insights > Entergy’s MISO membership keeps prices low and energy clean
Entergy’s MISO membership keeps prices low and energy clean
The availability of dependable, affordable electricity has enabled us to envision and achieve not only a variety of modern conveniences and life-changing inventions, but also bold objectives like reducing the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere in the process.
A key component in lowering carbon emissions is to gradually increase the number of vehicles on our roadways that operate on more environmentally friendly energy instead of fossil fuels.
Sales of electric vehicles have risen steadily over the past decade, both globally and in the U.S. While less than 1% of America’s 250 million cars and trucks today are EVs, by 2050 half of the passenger vehicles in operation on our roadways could be electric. And here in Mississippi, Nissan Canton is investing $500 million to convert a portion of its manufacturing lines to build two EVs models by 2025.
None of this progress is possible without a consistent, reliable source of energy.
In December 2013, Entergy Mississippi took steps to secure that reliable energy by joining Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, an independent, non-profit organization focused on managing the flow of high-voltage electricity across 15 U.S. states, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. Forty-five million people depend on MISO to oversee and dispatch the correct amount of electricity every minute of every day, reliably, dependably and cost-effectively.
“MISO is a competitive market where the most efficient resources get dispatched to serve the power load,” says Landon Eskew, operations planning manager at Entergy Mississippi. “That provides a lot of benefits to our customers.”
Balancing the grid for reliability, savings
Across four states—Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana—Entergy has the capacity to produce 24,000 megawatts every year. That power is absorbed into the MISO grid, where the balance of energy production and usage is a constant exercise. Keeping them in the proper balance brings stability to its member organizations, like Entergy Mississippi, and, by extension, their customers .
MISO accesses local grids and moves energy around based on need—they liken it to the role of air traffic controllers, who manage aircraft traffic in a similar way. MISO’s operators ensure energy predictability by staying 36 hours ahead of projected needs. By Entergy’s estimates, their membership in MISO has resulted in $284 million in economic benefit to the company and its customers.
As the availability of renewable energy sources becomes more important to industrial and consumer clients, Entergy Mississippi customers are using electricity generated from a number of sources—including renewables—due to MISO.
After energy rates and reliability, sustainable and renewable power generation rounds out the top three energy concerns from customers. In 2022, the power MISO members generated consisted of one-third renewable energy from wind, nuclear, hydroelectric and solar sources.
“We have more and more customers asking for fuel diversity, renewable generation and sustainability,” Eskew says. “As we continue to expand our own solar generation in Mississippi, our customers are also benefitting from renewable generation across MISO including fast growing solar capacity and wind generation in MISO North.”
Planning for future electricity needs
While MISO facilitates one of the world's largest energy markets, with more than $40 billion in annual transactions, it also plays a major role in planning the power grid of the future through its members. Large consumers of electricity add to the average power load, which benefits all customers.
“Especially if we're talking about large, sophisticated industrial customers, one of the top things they're looking for is affordable rates,” Eskew says. “The energy markets we participate in have great transparency, and they're able to see the market prices in real time. They can follow and have visibility of market dynamics that ultimately impact electricity prices.”
For individuals, households and businesses of all sizes, the overriding concern is to do all this without causing energy rates to rise.
“Ultimately,” Eskew adds, “the benefits we get from being in a competitive energy market, and the lower prices, are reflected in lower rates for customers.”