Entergy New Orleans Pitches Resilience Projects to City Council

NEW ORLEANS – From Entergy New Orleans:

The last two hurricane seasons have shown that extreme weather events are impacting the New Orleans area, and the entire Gulf Coast region, with increased frequency and severity, with greater costs and disruptions to Entergy New Orleans and its customers. Entergy’s entire service area has been impacted by multiple, more frequent, and intense severe storms, including Hurricanes Laura and Ida, two of the strongest hurricanes to hit Louisiana. The entire region, including New Orleans, must pivot to become more storm resilient.

Entergy New Orleans’ recent filing with its regulator, the New Orleans City Council, includes options for grid resilience, hardening projects, and alternative technologies such as microgrids. Projects were identified through a comprehensive, resilience-based planning approach and prioritized using a cost-benefit model designed to select the projects expected to deliver the largest benefits to customers. In totality, these hardening projects are estimated to cost approximately $1.5 billion over 10 years. 

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“While investments to harden the grid carry a significant cost, they result in substantial customer benefits in the long run,” said Deanna Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans. “Robust investments in grid resiliency will reduce the duration of power outages following major storms and will also reduce future storm restoration costs. Our objective is twofold: the hardening of the New Orleans grid and how quickly we get power back on for customers.”

“Plans across all of Entergy’s companies call for a $15 billion investment to better protect against weather events, from hurricanes to ice storms – and they will include the hardening of more than 30,000 miles of distribution power lines and nearly 500,000 distribution poles,” said Rod West, group utility president for Entergy. “We know that hardening the electric system and investing in newer, more robust structures and equipment will help us to be better prepared for the new normal of the storms that impact our region. This is about serving our customers – whether it is a family, small business or large industrial manufacturer – with more reliable, more resilient power delivery systems.”

In October of 2021, the New Orleans City Council opened a grid hardening and resilience docket asking multiple stakeholders to propose infrastructure resiliency and storm hardening plans for Council consideration. The company’s filing today is a crucial step towards beginning the process to make a substantial investment in infrastructure needed to positively impact customers.

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“While no amount of infrastructure investment can make an electric system completely resistant to the impacts of extreme weather conditions, we know that hardening the system will help us to be better prepared for the new normal of the storms that affect our region. The costs of such projects will impact customers so we look forward to working with the City Council and other stakeholders to identify which projects should be included in the company’s 10-year resiliency investment plan and doing so in an affordable way for our customers,” said Rodriguez.

Entergy New Orleans resilience filing builds upon its previous investments in the grid such as the New Orleans Power Station, which provides 128 MW of needed local generation and played a vital role in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Ida, the 20 MW New Orleans Solar Station, the commercial and residential rooftop solar program, critical updates to the Derbigny and Avenue C substations and the underground transformer replacement project in the Central Business District and French Quarter.

To learn more, visit entergy.com/future.

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