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Midcontinent Independent System Operator Opens Regional Operations Center In West Little Rock, Arkansas

A $22 million, 50,000-square-foot, regional operations center for the electric grid recently opened in West Little Rock, Arkansas. The operation center, run by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, better known as MISO, will control part of a 15-state region stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Manitoba, Canada.

“We hope to use our presence here not only as a resource to the greater Little Rock community, but as a magnet for other energy-sector firms,” said John R. Bear, President/CEO of MISO. “Little Rock can become a major center for science, engineering and technology jobs which will mean a bright future for the city and enhance Little Rock’s reputation as an energy capital.”

System Operators at MISO’s control center in Little Rock will ensure delivery of reliable least-cost energy to wholesale energy customers in the company’s South region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of Texas. The company’s initial set of approximately 42 employees are primarily experts in engineering and technology.

The control center works in tandem with a similar facility in Carmel, Ind., outside of Indianapolis, and a third facility in Eagan, Minn., near Minneapolis. Employees at all three MISO locations work together in real-time operations, market operations, customer services, government and regulatory affairs, information technology and administrative support.

“We’d like to thank the City of Little Rock, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and our regulators in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, the City of New Orleans and Texas who helped make today possible,” continued Bear.

“We appreciate MISO’s decision to open an operation center in Little Rock, which speaks volumes about their confidence in our state,” said Danny Games, interim executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “This places Arkansas at the forefront of an industry that is heavily dependent on technology and places a high priority on serving their member companies.”

MISO began establishing roots in Little Rock starting in 2013 when the decision was first made to establish a southern presence. The organization selected Little Rock primarily due to its existing knowledge base with a strong understanding of transmission planning and engineering.

MISO broke ground on the command center in March 2014, and expects an employee move-in date scheduled in spring of 2015.


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