Entergy New Orleans to spend $30 million on improving electrical system resiliency against storms

Published on May 25, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Entergy New Orleans announced this week that it plans to spend $30 million over the next two years on improvements to make its electrical system more resilient and resistant to storms.

The improvements include enhanced pole inspection and replacement as well as circuit reconfiguration and other targeted measures where necessary.

“In an effort to build a better New Orleans today and tomorrow, we’re pursuing a number of strategies to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, reliable power to our customers at the lowest reasonable cost,” Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, said. “Hardening our electric grid is one strategy that will help us weather storms, reduce the number of outages and safely get the power back on faster.”

In 2017, Osmose Utilities Services will inspect approximately 35,000 Entergy-owned poles on the east and west banks of Orleans Parish. The company will conduct full excavation inspections, in which they will dig around the poles, clean the wood and treat it with preservative. They will then replace the soil and build it up around the poles.

Where excavation is not possible, crews will utilize the sound and selective bore method to check for defects that indicate whether a pole needs to be replaced. In some cases, poles will be reinforced or replaced, which will carry into 2018.

Workers will also install additional automated switches on power lines, which allow operators to detect and prevent problems as well as restore and reroute power when necessary. This project will break up electric feeders into smaller sections reducing the impact of outages and adding flexibility to the electrical system.

The company also invested $10 million to improve service reliability in the city last fall and completed extensive storm hardening work across south Louisiana in the years since Hurricane Katrina.