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Mississippi power group to join Carmel MISO

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South Mississippi Electric Power Association plans to join an Indiana-based  regional power transmission organization at the same time as Entergy Corp. utilities.

Hattiesburg-based SMEPA, which generates and wholesales power to 11 electric cooperatives serving 410,000 Mississippi customers, says it will join Carmel-based MISO in December 2013.

MISO, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, now directs electricity transmission in parts of 11 Midwestern states and Canada's Manitoba province. The not-for-profit group tries to route the cheapest possible electricity to users, even if it's generated at a faraway plant instead of a nearby one.

Like Entergy, SMEPA says joining will save customers money, from $4 million to $40 million a year, according to studies.

New Orleans-based Entergy won approval this year for its utilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas to join MISO.

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