TIMONIUM, Md., July 29, 2004 — The new “THOR” System (patent pending), developed jointly by AIR2, LLC and Entergy’s Transmission Services Technology Delivery Group for testing the strength of wooden cross arms, is now available for commercial use, Thomas P. McShane, President and CEO of AIR2 announced. The THOR System is the result of over 5 years of research and development efforts. The system accurately and scientifically determines the strength of wooden cross arms, an area of great concern to many utility companies striving for increasingly higher levels of system reliability.
Wooden transmission structures support roughly 50% of the electric transmission system miles in the United States and Canada. The THOR System addresses the need of the transmission industry to gain confidence in the reliability of these structures.
THOR is deployed by helicopter and provides a means of rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively identifying weak arms that are likely to fail and in need of replacement, from strong arms that can safely remain in service. This eliminates the guess work currently involved in selective cross arm replacement. It also measurably improves system reliability.
Traditional methods, including visual examination and hammer sounding, are unreliable and result in the expensive errors of (1) replacing sound arms unnecessarily and (2) failing to identify and replace all weak arms. The THOR System delivers a quantifiable and reliable method of selecting cross arms for replacement.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer the electric transmission industry, this advanced and innovative solution to the huge problem of untimely cross arm failures,” states AIR2 President and CEO, Thomas P. McShane.
“We at Entergy are delighted with the success of the THOR System and proud to have contributed to its development,” said Doug Mader, Director, Entergy Transmission Services Technology Delivery Group.
AIR2, LLC, headquartered in Timonium, MD, is an airborne services contractor to the electric power industry. AIR2 combines helicopter airborne access with proprietary diagnostic and work systems to help operators construct and maintain reliable power grids. For more information about AIR2, visit the company’s website at www.air2.com or Tom McShane at 410-560-5620 x 22.
Entergy’s transmission system moves power from generating plants to distribution points for delivery to approximately 2.5 million customers of Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States, Inc., Entergy Louisiana, Inc., Entergy Mississippi, Inc. and Entergy New Orleans, Inc. Entergy’s System Operations Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas has overall system management responsibility. Transmission Operations Centers are located in each jurisdiction. Entergy’s transmission system is presently capable of delivering approximately 22,000 megawatts within a 112,000 square mile area. Approximately 1,000 employees manage, operate and maintain the system’s more than 15,500 miles of interconnected lines and 1,550 substations.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production, retail distribution operations, energy marketing and trading, and gas transportation. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.6 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Through Entergy-Koch, LP, it is a leading provider of wholesale energy marketing and trading services, as well as an operator of natural gas pipeline and storage facilities. Entergy has annual revenues of over $9 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.