Entergy New Orleans to begin $30 million transmission system upgrade


New Orleans can now reap the benefits of continued economic growth and development now that Entergy New Orleans Inc. has kicked off a $30 million technological upgrade to its electric power transmission system.

The project is designed to enhance reliability, increase transmission capacity and help ensure the availability of affordable power.

This project represents a $30 million capital investment in the electric transmission infrastructure of New Orleans, according to Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans.

The transmission project is part of ongoing integrated resource planning for New Orleans, as Entergy is preparing to deactivate the aging Michoud generating facility, originally placed into service during the 1960s. These upgrades are required by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator prior to the planned 2016 Michoud deactivation. In addition, Entergy is also evaluating Michoud as a site for a future generation facility.

As a result, Entergy will complete the project in two phases, both originating on the west bank at the Entergy Ninemile generating facility. The first phase, Ninemile-Napoleon substation, began in July 2015 and will affect the Audubon Park, upper Magazine Street and Annunciation Street areas.

The second phase, Ninemile-Derbigny substation, will begin in October 2015 and will primarily impact the Carrollton-Hollygrove area, including Cambronne Street, and through the outer portions of the Xavier University footprint.

Both phases will replace the existing 230 kilovolt transmission lines with a 3M aluminum conductor composite reinforced high-voltage wire that will move power more reliably and efficiently. Through the use of this advanced technology, Entergy minimizes the need to replace the existing steel poles while providing additional transmission capacity.

"We recognize that challenges may arise due to the layout and unique nature of our city, but we're prepared," Rice said. "Working with the community, government agencies and our crews, we are carefully preparing to safely execute our plan, keeping all lines of communication open. No project is so important that we can't and won't do it safely."

Since the top priority for this project is to have a safe, accident-free environment for both the public and project crews, Entergy has developed detailed on-site safety measures that will be tailored to meet the needs of the community and impacted areas.

"Progress is often inconvenient. We understand there is some fatigue in New Orleans regarding public infrastructure projects, but we know that New Orleanians are resilient and forward-thinking," Rice said. "They have proven that time and again over the last 10 years. We are confident that the end product will be a technologically superior, reliable and advanced electric power transmission system that will help support and grow the region's economy."

"As part of a comprehensive public outreach effort, Entergy will notify neighborhoods, businesses, institutions and government agencies of construction schedules as they are available," Rice said. "Project teams are developing vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic plans, complete with maps and related timelines, in order to help the general public safely navigate around the work areas."

Entergy New Orleans Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana's Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 171,000 customers and natural gas to some 105,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a unit of Entergy Corp.

Entergy Corp. is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with about 30,000 MW of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 MW of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and about 13,000 employees.

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