LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Entergy is breaking ground on a new $23-million Transmission Operations Center in Little Rock that will be one of two twin centers in the corporation’s four-state service area. The 25,000-square-foot building will be a “nerve center” where employees monitor the status of the transmission system, coordinate line outages for maintenance or repair and remotely operate switches and breakers at substations.
Prior to this year, Entergy had five TOCs and one System Operations Center in cities throughout the four states.
“We’re consolidating these operations into two locations in Jackson, Miss., and Little Rock to improve operations and mitigate weather risks,” said Rick Riley, Entergy vice president of transmission. “These two buildings, which are almost identical, are the result of a long-term plan to provide more reliable and efficient transmission service for our customers.”
“This new operations center is representative of a lengthy list of projects we have planned for the Arkansas transmission grid,” said Entergy Arkansas, Inc., President and CEO Hugh McDonald. “We will invest about $900 million over the next five years on transmission lines, substations and related equipment to ensure the system is up to the long-term demands the future will bring.”
One of the current facilities is near the Gulf of Mexico and is more susceptible to storms and hurricanes. Moving those functions further from the Gulf allows transmission to reduce operational risks from such events. The new centers will also be hardened to withstand EF5 tornadoes.
Consolidating the facilities will also result in significant savings, as maintaining two facilities costs less than maintaining six.
The buildings are scheduled to be complete in summer 2016.
Alessi Keyes Construction of Maumelle will build the facility. Canizaro Cawthon Davis Architects of Jackson, Miss. designed the building.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.