Charlotte J. Cavell
Crews inspecting and replacing equipment to reduce future power outages
NEW ORLEANS – In an effort to modernize the electric grid and support a growing city today and tomorrow, Entergy New Orleans’ crews are hitting the streets in what is known as a reliability blitz.
The crews are inspecting and replacing aging equipment – such as poles and crossarms – where needed to reduce the frequency and duration of future power outages. Along with this targeted work, they’re also continuing year-round maintenance of power lines, trimming trees, adding lightning protection and installing animal guards.
The company is pouring some $10 million into the work around the city and has brought in 14 contract crews to help install the equipment as part of the blitz. So far, company and contract crews have completed more than 10,000 man-hours of work and have several jobs in progress. The work builds upon the success of the $30 million transmission system upgrade that was completed earlier this year.
“You may have heard the saying that you’re only as strong as your weakest link and that holds true for supplying power,” said Melonie Stewart, customer service director for Entergy New Orleans. “The poles, lines and equipment between our generators and your home need to be in working order. And that’s why we inspect, repair and replace the equipment on our power grid.”
Throughout the utility industry, aging infrastructure can lead to customer outages and needed replacements. As a result, the “blitz” concept is used to maximize productivity during improvement projects while keeping customer inconvenience to a minimum. This is especially true when working in targeted areas so crews can get in and out quickly with minimal disruption.
To help customers plan around the work, Entergy personnel are notifying them in advance through such avenues as phone calls, recorded messages, fliers and door hangers.
Prior to beginning the blitz, Entergy crews inspected numerous poles around the city and identified those needing replacement. In addition to replacing those poles, they also are replacing traditional wooden crossarms with stronger, more durable fiberglass crossarms that have a longer lifespan in addition to other benefits, including:
“We continually strive to provide our customers with safe, reliable power at the lowest reasonable cost,” said Stewart. “We’re proud to be a part of this city and support the growth happening all around us, which is why we make significant investments in planning projects and technologies to make our service even better.”
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 198,000 customers and natural gas to more than 106,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is 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 nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11.5 billion and more than 13,000 employees.