Insights > Entergy Completes Hot Springs Reliability Project Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget

Entergy Completes Hot Springs Reliability Project Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget


Entergy employees in operations, engineering, construction and project management have completed a significant project to improve reliability and support economic growth in southwest Arkansas. Demonstrating Entergy's core values of focusing on customers and aggressively looking for better ways, the team delivered the completed project ahead of schedule and below the project cost estimate approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission. The collective effort and innovation epitomize Entergy's mission to create value for customers by striving for reasonable costs and providing safe, reliable service.

"We had hundreds of thousands of individual parts and pieces of equipment to ship, stage, catalog, track and deliver where and when materials were needed along the 18-mile route," said John Ellis, who served as the overall project manager.

"Brock Durham, our construction supervisor," Ellis said, "developed an innovative plan to use helicopters to install transmission poles. This allowed the line to be completed more than two months faster than originally anticipated with the team setting 53 poles in one day."

Entergy's award-winning storm restoration work sometimes employs helicopters to set large transmission structures. It's unusual to use them in a non-emergency situation.

"The conventional wisdom was that it was cost prohibitive; our team proposed it and proved that it was not--plus utilizing the helicopter method minimized the environmental impacts, reducing the amount of large equipment needed on the right of way," said Ellis. "And, that's great for the Natural State and Entergy Arkansas customers."

Three years ago, the communities of Hot Springs and Lake Hamilton first learned during an open house about the need for a new 18-mile 115 kV line connecting Hot Springs Milton substation to Carpenter Dam Hydro Electric Station and a new distribution substation near Albright Road.

"As electric demand grows, upgrading existing or constructing new facilities is necessary to maintain and improve reliability," said Greg Asbell, customer service representative for Hot Springs. "This reliability project has been made in collaboration with community members and is one of many investments across our territory positioning Entergy Arkansas and our customers for a brighter future. We're investing $1.7 billion dollars between 2016-2018 to make the company's electrical service even more safe and reliable."

Other project team leaders included:

· Brian Eddins -- Construction engineer who oversaw the construction of the line and work at the Carpenter Dam and Hot Spring Milton substation.
· Brandon Hopson and David Hardin -- operations coordinators in transmission construction, who worked in the field with dozens of contractors to implement the projects.
· Sal Faisal -- Construction engineer who oversaw the construction of the Albright substation and is currently overseeing the added reliability project at Mountain Pine South, which has an expected completion date of June 2016.

The new transmission line serves existing demand, provides for future growth and supplies a new distribution substation just south of Albright Road. The new substation eliminates the area's original radial system from Mountain Pine South Substation to Hot Springs Milton Substation that provided only one power source for some customers. The substation also relieves the load from other substations along Highway 7 South.

Sally Graham