The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. began construction on a $22 million regional operations center in West Little Rock, Arkansas
. The building is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, with an employee move-in date scheduled in spring of 2015.
MISO ensures reliable operation of high-voltage power lines in 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. Similar to the company's North Region Operations Center, the facility in Little Rock will serve as the command center for MISO's newly established South Region.
MISO expects to hire roughly 50 employees, including; real-time operations, market operations, customer services, government and regulatory affairs, information technology and administrative support. The company said the project signifies a continued commitment in the reliable delivery of least-cost energy
to MISO members and their customers from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
"A regional presence is important," said MISO's President/CEO John Bear. "This facility will provide the space necessary for us to build upon and develop a more focused approach to transmission system management and will result in more reliable and lower cost energy for end-use consumers."
"Little Rock is an appropriate location for us," continued Bear. "It's a well-educated workforce
, in a city with a great deal of experience in transmission planning and engineering."
"We've worked with higher education and the private sector to build a workforce that can bring more high-paying jobs to Arkansas," Governor Mike Beebe
said. "This is another strong example of collaboration producing continued economic growth for our state."
"MISO is a great addition to Arkansas and is a testament that the committed partnership between the City of Little Rock and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
continues to attract top notch 21st century businesses fostering job creation," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.
MISO manages one of the world's largest energy
markets, with more than $20 billion in annual gross market energy transactions. MISO was approved as the nation's first regional transmission organization in 2001. The not-for-profit organization is governed by an independent board of directors and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.