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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

MISO to add up to 50 jobs in LR

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 8, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. Updated May 8, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.

gov-mike-beebe-speaks-while-midcontinent-independent-system-operator-president-and-ceo-john-bear-looks-on-wednesday-at-the-state-capitol

Gov. Mike Beebe speaks while Midcontinent Independent System Operator President and CEO John Bear looks on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

A regional transmission organization that oversees electric power delivery will add up to 50 high-paying jobs at a new operations center in Little Rock, officials announced Wednesday.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator will add between 35 and 50 positions with an average salary of $85,000 apiece.

MISO, which Gov. Mike Beebe likened to an air-traffic controller for electricity, is integrating Entergy's four-state operations into its system.

The company is still evaluating sites for the center. President and Chief Executive Officer John Bear said the process of picking and building a site could take a year to 18 months, though the hiring would start immediately.

It will be the company's third hub after locations in Indiana and Minnesota. Bear said the new employees will oversee operations in Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.

Bear joined Beebe and other company and state officials for a formal announcement of the new jobs at the state Capitol. Word of the average salary drew applause from the small crowd gathered in Beebe's conference room.

The company will invest between $5 million and $8 million in the new facility.

MISO received incentives from the state of a four-year, 3.9 percent cash rebate of payroll for the new jobs and sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and other equipment.

Entergy has been going through the process of joining MISO for several years with the agreement set to go into effect at the end of the year.

The company has said it expects to pass on $263 million in savings to its customers in the first 10 years of its membership in MISO.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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