The first step to become a Transmission Operator (TOP) is to complete a certification application on the Regional Registered Entities website Reliability First (RF), Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) or SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC). That will trigger the Regional Entity to reach out and start the kickoff process for certification. See the NERC Certification Information on the NERC website that provides further information on certifications NERC Certification Information. There is also more information in the NERC Rules of Procedure Section 5A (page 16) that provides the process for certification. Once the customer contacts their Regional Entity, the customer will inform MISO so we can contact Reliability First (RF) to inform them we will have a new TOP joining MISO.

Please note the certification process on becoming a TOP can vary. It could take a few months to a year depending on the schedule that the regions have and how complicated the certification could be. 

As a TOP, they will need to determine who their Balancing Authority is. MISO handles most of the compliance as the MISO Balancing Authority, but all the entities that use MISO as a Balancing Authority, also have to be certified as Balancing Authority with NERC. This is also a certification unless they contract with an existing Balancing Authority in the MISO footprint.  As a registered TOP, the customer will handle all compliance responsibilities. 

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