June 5, 2009 – Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC have completed three major projects that represent an investment of more than $100 million in the electric transmission system in southern Louisiana, the companies announced this week.
The projects include the rebuild of a transmission line in Plaquemines Parish that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and two upgrades to transmission lines that run through the Baton Rouge to New Orleans corridor.
“We are excited to announce the completion of these three new transmission projects,” said Renae Conley, president and CEO of the two utility companies. “We spent significant time and effort in the analysis and design of these projects to select solutions that would provide the greatest benefits to our customers, including working in close consultation with the Louisiana Public Service Commission. These projects will help support the continued growth of communities in the region.”
While the three projects were spearheaded by Entergy’s transmission group, several departments within the company worked together to bring the projects to fruition. Transmission, distribution and economic development employees, among others, all played important roles in getting the three projects planned, designed and built.
In addition, the company worked closely with several local and state governments and agencies to complete the projects. Entergy’s cross-functional teams partnered with permitting authorities, state agencies and local governments, the Army Corps of Engineers, local landowners, the railroad companies and other entities.
“We appreciate the support we received from local parish and state government officials and others during the planning and construction phases of these important projects,” Conley said.
Plaquemines Parish Rebuild
The project in Plaquemines Parish is a new 19-mile long transmission line that replaces a transmission line that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. The new line, which is a 115-kV line, runs along Highway 23 on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The old line ran through marsh land along the east bank of the river.
With the new transmission line running along highway 23, the line is more accessible during maintenance and restoration work. The new location should also reduce environmental mitigation costs.
The former line ran through marsh land, requiring the company to use specialized equipment and specially trained crews and pay mitigation costs any time work was performed on the line.
The new line along the West Bank allowed the company to replace older facilities with new, modern equipment that was built to the latest standards for extreme coastal areas and is designed to withstand 150-mile per hour winds.
“Having this new 115-kV line in Plaquemines Parish provides reliable service to existing towns, camps and businesses,” Conley said. “It should also help the parish attract new business as the parish continues to grow.”
Amite South II and III Projects
While technically two separate projects, the Amite South II and III projects collectively increase the companies’ ability to import purchased power into southeast Louisiana by approximately 350 MW. Before the start of the two projects, Entergy’s Louisiana utilities could import about 2,450 MW of purchased power into the Amite South region – an area that encompasses much of Entergy Louisiana’s and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana’s service areas in southeastern Louisiana. With the Amite South II and III projects complete, the companies can now import approximately 2,800 MW.
The Amite South II portion of the project includes 18 miles of new 230-kV line across parts of St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes as well as a rerouting of 4.5 miles of existing lines in those parishes. A new substation in St. James Parish and improvements to three other substations in St. John the Baptist Parish were also completed as part of the project.
The Amite South III portion of the project includes upgrading 11 miles of 230-kV line in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes as well as upgrading an additional 8.3 miles of 230-kV line in Ascension Parish.
The project also led to improvements at four substations.
The new facilities constructed as part of the Amite South II and III projects are located farther inland from the coast and were built to the latest standards, designed to withstand 140-mile per hour winds.
The additional power also will benefit the region during maintenance and restoration work.