Entergy Louisiana places eight miles of powerlines underground, hardens above ground lines

Published on September 14, 2022 by Dave Kovaleski

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Entergy Louisiana finished the longest underground project in its history, putting approximately eight miles of distribution powerlines underground along Louisiana Highway 1 from Leeville to Grand Isle.

This is one of two main lines serving the area – with the other being a hardened overhead line built along LA 1. The overhead line boasts Class 1 poles placed into steel caissons and backfilled with rock to create a stronger foundation.

The underground line will enhance the resilience of the electric grid, as will the overhead line, as it is built to withstand winds of up to 150 mph.

“The work we’ve done throughout our coastal communities is the very definition of adding resilience to the electric system,” John Hawkins, vice president of reliability for Entergy in Louisiana, said. “Grid resilience isn’t a destination as much as it is continuous improvement, and although Mother Nature will always find a way to challenge us, we do believe continuing to make investments to harden the electric system will help Entergy and the communities we serve recover more quickly following major storms. It’s not necessarily a matter of whether the lights go out, but a matter of how quickly we can get them back on, and that’s what ongoing grid resilience projects are all about.”

In addition, Entergy Louisiana has shortened spans, or the length of wire from pole to pole, and installed lighter transformers and tighter framing of equipment to help reduce the effects of high wind on the electric system. Further, the company relocated some portions of the electric system that had to be rebuilt following Hurricane Ida from hard-to-access areas in the marsh to more accessible areas. This will reduce the time it takes to perform work and restore power.

“Upgrading and strengthening the electric system is among the ways we work to keep our state, including coastal areas that are important to the economy, an attractive place for families and businesses to call home,” Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO, said. “It’s all part of our commitment to providing reliable power, being a good neighbor, and helping create stronger, more resilient communities.”