It all began with Sawdust
The Entergy story began with a pile of sawdust and a handshake. The sawdust belonged to H. H. Foster, president of the Arkansas Land and Lumber Company. The handshake was between Foster and Harvey Couch, president of Arkansas Power Company.
Couch was an entrepreneur who lived in Arkansas at the turn of the 20th century. He invested in a phone company, radio station, railroad and his biggest success, an electric power company. On Nov. 13, 1913, with a $500,000 line of credit and a franchise to provide electricity to the Arkansas towns Malvern and Arkadelphia, Couch shook hands with H. H. Foster for his sawdust. Couch would use sawdust from Foster’s lumber company as fuel to generate electricity for his power company. It was a new beginning for Harvey Couch and electric service in the state.
Couch’s ultimate goal was to have an integrated electric system with numerous sources of power at a reasonable price. Service reliability was foremost on his mind. He knew if he could provide a reliable product at a good price he would succeed. With the fuel source secured, Couch began work on electrifying the state.
On Dec.17, 1914, Malvern and Arkadelphia were lit up as the generators at the lumber company were turned on for the first time. Now called Arkansas Light and Power Company, Arkansas’ newest endeavor to bring the benefits of electricity to the rural south began with two 550 kilowatt generators and 22 miles of transmission lines.
Couch’s company grew rapidly. Ten years later he completed construction of the Remmel hydroelectric dam on the Ouachita River. His transmission system now covered 300 miles. With a 9,000 kilowatt generator in place, Couch set his sights beyond the state’s boundaries.
Couch began acquiring independent electric properties in Jackson, Vicksburg, Columbus and Greenville, Miss. His plan was to develop an interconnected system much like the one in Arkansas, but between states. On April 12, 1923, Mississippi Power and Light Company was incorporated in Mississippi.
The fuel and electricity for this new company would come from Louisiana. The Louisiana Power Company was formed so Couch could take full advantage of the abundant supply of natural gas found in northern Louisiana. In November 1925, Couch’s Sterlington generating station was placed online. The largest power plant south of St. Louis, its 30,000 kilowatt capacity was owned by three companies: Arkansas Light and Power, Mississippi Power and Light, and Louisiana Power Company.
At the dedication of the Sterlington plant, Gov. Harvey Parnell of Arkansas said, “Harvey Couch has done more to develop these three states – Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi – than any other man.” Couch’s goal of an integrated electric system was becoming a reality.
Elsewhere, the competition to electrify New Orleans was fierce. Electric lighting had been introduced there at the 1884 Cotton Centennial Exposition, but high costs, fear and unreliability were obstacles to electrifying the city. In the early 1900s, nine separate electric companies competed in New Orleans. Nearly all were small, isolated generators that served limited areas, operated on different voltages and used various kinds of equipment. None were interconnected, even within the city.
Electric Bond and Share – The Competition
Sidney Mitchel worked for Electric Bond and Share Company, which was owned by General Electric. EBASCO was building, financing and operating struggling new electric systems. By the early 1920s Mitchel had acquired all the electrical service in New Orleans and was expanding in other places including Little Rock and Memphis.
Like Couch, Mitchel knew the only way to grow his company was to expand. Soon EBASCO was competing directly with Couch as their expansion overlapped in Arkansas and Louisiana. Both men knew that they could not continue competing for territory so in 1925 they joined forces, consolidating their properties into one large, interconnected system. The new system was Electric Power and Light Corporation, owned by EBASCO and run by Couch. The system that would become Entergy was born.
The Great Depression that began in 1929 brought hard times, reduced sales and shriveling capital markets to utilities. The Electric Power and Light Corporation was no exception. Then MP&L president Rex Brown described company operations during the era: “Stockholders had to be continually assured that their investments were safe. At the same time, they had to be convinced that dividends, while in arrears, would eventually be paid. Our customers, hard-pressed for finances as our company, could not pay higher rates or increased utilization. In fact many discontinued service because they had to choose between electricity and food. The meeting of payroll was a continuous nightmare for company officers.”
Despite the hardships, AP&L, MP&L, LP&L, and New Orleans Public Service, the company serving the New Orleans area, made it through intact. Some of the nation’s largest utilities did not.
The Public Utility Holding Company Act
Samuel Insull was Thomas Edison’s business secretary. He moved to Chicago to build a multilevel utility organization that included holding companies, which held other holding companies. The profit-taking opportunities inherent in his pyramid scheme set off a national acquisition craze. By 1932 there were eight holding companies controlling 73 percent of the investor-owned electric business. The scheme collapsed and public outcry produced the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.
PUHCA broke up the multilevel holding companies and required them to register with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies were required to specialize in one service and relinquish their non-related properties. EBASCO was one of those companies.
In 1949 EBASCO’s Electric Power and Light Corporation was dissolved. In its place, Middle South Utilities, Inc., Entergy former name, was formed as a holding company for Arkansas Power and Light, Louisiana Power and Light, Mississippi Power and Light, and New Orleans Public Service, Inc. By special request of New Orleans officials, NOPSI was allowed to keep its gas and transit operations in the city.
In MSU’s 1949 annual report, the company’s first president, Edgar Dixon, noted in his letter to shareholders that the year was “one of growth and progress for the companies of the Middle South System.” He reported that the company was paying a dividend of 27.5 cents a share to more than 25,000 stockholders “who reside in every state of the country and in 24 foreign countries.” At the end of its first year of operations, MSU served over 625,000 customers in more than 1,600 communities.
Two decades of growth
The 1950s and 1960s were decades of growth and prosperity for the company. Capacity grew with demand and the system met all challenges and opportunities. The system’s largest generating station, gas-fired NineMile Point near New Orleans, came online in the 1950s. Little Gypsy, located on the Mississippi River upriver from New Orleans, became the world’s first fully-automated generating unit in 1961.
Edgar Dixon died in 1962 and was succeeded by Gerald Andrus. As MSU’s second president, Andrus’ first major achievement was the creation of the service company, Middle South Services, Inc. (now known as Entergy Services, Inc.) in 1963. The company provided the common services, finance, tax, engineering, communications and human resources support for all five MSU companies.
In 1965 the system was hit by Hurricane Betsy, then the worst storm in the company’s history. Betsy destroyed the southeastern end of the system. In the New Orleans area, 90 percent of the system was damaged or destroyed. All of Louisiana Power and Light’s customers in southern Louisiana were without power. With help from their sister companies and neighboring utilities, nearly all customers were restored within nine days. LP&L’s publication Fifty Years of Service noted at the time that Hurricane Betsy had inflicted “the greatest weather-related damage to a single utility.”
In 1968 the system entered the nuclear age when Arkansas Power and Light was granted a construction permit to build Arkansas Nuclear One Unit One near Russellville, Ark.
By the end of the 1960s, Andrus reported in the annual report that the number of customers had grown to more than 1 million. Generating capacity, primarily using oil and gas, had grown, too. But this period of rapid expansion came to an abrupt halt in the 1970s as a result of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.
The system responded by continuing to diversify its fuel mix. In 1970, LP&L announced plans for its Waterford 3 nuclear unit near Taft, La. Two years later, Mississippi Power and Light announced plans for the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station near Port Gibson, Miss. The same year, System Fuels Inc. was formed to buy fuel for the entire system. This centralized method of fuel procurement meant lower prices and better rates for consumers.
Fuel - Diversity and Supply
Gerald Andrus retired in 1974 and Floyd Lewis became the third president of MSU. His major task was to deal with the effects of higher fuel prices and uncertain availability. Consumers were quick to respond and conservation became the order of the day.
The effects of conservation began taking their toll on electricity demand. While the system was building new plants based on previous forecasts, the demand for additional capacity did not materialize. The system canceled plans for additional units and began marketing efficiency to help customers with rising bills. Some plants could not be canceled and the public's reaction to paying for these additional units embroiled the system in controversy.
In 1980, the system's first coal-fired unit came on line. The White Bluff steam electric station, located near Pine Bluff, Ark., made Arkansas Power and Light the first system company to use all five major electricity-generation fuel types: oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric.
Five years later, Grand Gulf One entered commercial operation, as did LP&L's Waterford 3 nuclear plant. While the customers of LP&L were responsible for paying for Waterford 3, precisely who would pay for Grand Gulf One and the two-thirds complete Grand Gulf Two was still in question. The system was in the middle of troubled times.
New Company Name – New Direction
To face the challenges ahead, the company officially changed its name to Entergy Corporation at the annual meeting of stockholders in May 1989. The new name was used to forge a new direction. The name Entergy is a composite of the words “enterprise,” “energy” and “synergy,” three qualities that described the company’s new approach to navigating the rapidly evolving marketplace.
The 1990s were a decade of change. Change was everywhere. The electric utility industry began to prepare for open markets and deregulation. Entergy changed to meet the demands of its stakeholders. New subsidiaries were created to help control costs and increase revenues.
Entergy Operations, Inc., and Entergy Power, Inc., were born in 1990. Entergy Operations streamlined the management of nuclear facilities. Entergy Power was created to tap the growing, potentially lucrative new market of wholesale electricity generation. While these new ventures were taking shape, the utility business was expanding as well.
On June 8, 1992, Entergy announced its plan to acquire Gulf States Utilities, which provided electric service to customers in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. It took 19 months to work through the merger’s legal and regulatory processes.
Entergy emerged as one of the largest electric utilities in the country with more than 2.3 million retail customers and $22.9 billion in assets. The service area for Entergy utilities now encompassed four states and reflected a major step in making the company more efficient and competitive.
Competition was not limited to the United States. In the mid 1990s Entergy adopted a global vision. The company played a major role in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. “Our people were an important resource to those in Congress who led passage of this milestone legislation, which changed the structure of the electric utility industry, along with federal policies governing the generation and sale of electric power. We consider the legislation a victory for Entergy,” wrote Ed Lupberger, Chairman and CEO, in the 1992 annual report.
The Energy Policy Act provided for wholesale generators, allowed the FERC to order utilities to sell wholesale power, permitted utility holding companies to own properties in foreign countries, and adopted a streamlined process for licensing nuclear plants.
With the freedom afforded Entergy by the Energy Policy Act, the company moved beyond the limitations of its four-state service area and began a major reorganization and expansion effort. It diversified into a number of different industries including energy efficiency, telecommunications and home security. Entergy bought or established foreign generation and distribution entities in Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, Pakistan, Peru and the United Kingdom. The company had become a global player in the electric energy business. But big changes lay ahead.
Back To Basics
Disappointing financial performance in 1997 and early 1998 led to a change in executive leadership. Chairman and CEO Edwin Lupberger resigned in May. Bob Luft, a director and retired Dupont Co. executive, became chairman and acting CEO. The company headed in a new direction: back to basics.
Taking a long hard look at itself, Entergy decided to focus on its core business. It identified the domestic utility business, global power development and nuclear power operations as its three areas of emphasis. Within six months Entergy divested itself of all properties and businesses that did not have a role in these three areas. Near the end of the year a major financial turnaround began and soon afterward J. Wayne Leonard, who had served as president and Chief Operating Officer, was named Chief Executive Officer.
As the new millennium passed without any impact on the system, the company continued to improve and develop its back-to-basics strategies. The change set Entergy on a path to achieving 13 straight quarters of better than projected earnings, a credit upgrade and generally positive buy recommendations by Wall Street analysts across the board.
Entergy's domestic utility business served 2.7 million customers. In 2000 the company recorded the biggest improvement in customer satisfaction in the industry. At the same time, it had the best safety record in the company's history with a great decline in lost-time accidents. All this was in spite of the worst weather the system had experienced up to then.
The Entergy service area is prone to all types of weather. During any year the system may be exposed to extreme cold and heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, snow, ice storms, high winds, lightning, heavy rains and flooding. Everything nature has to throw at electric utilities happens in the Entergy system, sometimes all in the same year.
The summer of 2000 was the hottest and driest on record. It was followed by severe, back-to-back ice storms in Arkansas and northern Louisiana on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Both were described as "hundred year" storms. Then, in 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, among the greatest natural disasters in U.S. history, delivered an unprecedented one-two punch to Entergy's customers and infrastructure in the South. Three years later, hurricanes Gustav and Ike again tested the company and its communities. The year 2009 began with ice storms in Arkansas that disrupted power to more than 100,000 customers. More recently the utility companies have responded to Hurricane Isaac, as well as to severe winter storms and damaging tornadoes. In all cases employees met the challenges of restoring service and improving reliability.
The company's corporate headquarters returned to New Orleans in mid-2006, after nine months in Jackson, Miss., as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Entergy also announced a new principal-offices concept designed to locate some business-critical functions in other cities. A facility in Hammond, La., now houses employees working on certain financial, human resources, and customer billing high-volume transaction processing tasks for customers and employees. The company also located one of its two primary computer data centers in Little Rock, Ark.
In 2005, Entergy added to its fossil generation by purchasing the dual-unit, 718-megawatt Perryville Plant near Monroe, La. In 2006, the company purchased the 480MW Attala Energy Facility near Kosciusko, Miss.; in 2008 Entergy purchased both the 322MW Calcasieu Generating Facility in southwestern Louisiana and the Ouachita Plant, a 789-megawatt generating facility near Monroe. In 2011 the company completed the acquisition of Unit 2 of the Acadia Energy Center, a 580-megawatt generating unit located near Eunice, La. In addition, Entergy purchased the 620MW Hot Spring Energy Facility Located near Malvern, Arkansas, and the 450MW Hinds Energy Facility in Jackson, Miss. In 2014, the company announced plans to purchase Union Power Station. In 2015, the company formally dedicated a new, 550MW natural gas unit at the existing Ninemile Point plant in Westwego, La., and announced plans to build the St. Charles Power Station along the Mississippi River industrial corridor. The same year, Entergy Wholesale Commodities announced the sale of the Rhode Island State Energy Center, an approximately 583-megawatt, natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating plant in Johnston, R.I., that Entergy had purchased in 2011. In 2016 and 2017 Entergy made progress toward adding to and modernizing its power generation fleet: Entergy New Orleans proposed construction of New Orleans Power Station in New Orleans East; the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved construction of the 994-megawatt Lake Charles Power Station, a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Westlake; the Public Utility Commission of Texas approved construction of the Montgomery County Power Station, Entergy’s first new generation project in Texas since 1979.
At the end of 2007, the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved Entergy Gulf States' proposal to divide itself into two separate operating companies in Louisiana and Texas. The separation increased the number of operating companies at the domestic utility level from five to six: Entergy Arkansas, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Mississippi, Entergy New Orleans and Entergy Texas.
In mid-2015, the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved Entergy's proposal to combine Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy Louisiana. In addition, the New Orleans City Council approved the transfer to Entergy New Orleans of approximately 22,500 electric customers in the Algiers area of the New Orleans area who were previously served by Entergy Louisiana.
Entergy Corporation and ITC Holdings Corp. announced in December 2011 a proposal for Entergy to divest and then merge its electric transmission business into ITC. In December 2013 the companies discontinued pursuit of the transaction after some of Entergy's retail regulators declined to approve it. Also at the end of 2013, Entergy successfully completed its transition to the MISO regional transmission organization.
In January 2019, Entergy began a multiyear deployment of new, advanced meters for customers' homes and businesses. The rollout of meter installations began in Little Rock – about 50 miles from Malvern, Arkansas, where Entergy's history began in 1913. By the end of 2021, the company plans to deploy advanced meters across our entire system to approximately 3 million customers. Advanced meters facilitate operational efficiencies, enable faster outage response, and empower customers with information to better understand and manage their electricity usage.
Having demonstrated its expertise at owning and operating the nuclear plants it built in the South, in 1998 Entergy formed a nuclear business development group, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., to pursue a growth strategy in areas outside the company’s utility service area. The group’s goal was for Entergy to become a leading national operator of nuclear power plants.
The following year, the company purchased Boston Edison’s Pilgrim Station, the first ever U.S. nuclear plant sale by a utility. Entergy Nuclear then purchased Indian Point unit 3 (2000) and the James A. FitzPatrick plant (2000) from New York Power Authority, Indian Point unit 2 from Consolidated Edison (2001) and Vermont Yankee from its 12 owner companies (2002). In 2003, Entergy began providing management services to Nebraska Public Power District for its Cooper Nuclear Station. In 2007, Entergy purchased the Palisades plant in Covert, Mich. from Consumers Energy.
In addition to buying and operating plants, the company also has expertise in decommissioning nuclear plants.
Entergy Nuclear operates five units in the Entergy utility service territory including:
- Arkansas Nuclear One Unit One and Unit Two – Russellville, Arkansas
- Grand Gulf Nuclear Station – Port Gibson, Mississippi
- River Bend – St. Francisville, Louisiana
- Waterford 3 – Taft, Louisiana
Outside the traditional Entergy utility service area, the company also owns and operates:
- Indian Point Energy Center Unit Three – Buchanan, New York
- Palisades – Covert, Michigan
Entergy also provides management support for the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska.
The company is playing a major role in the relicensing of nuclear plants. In June 2001, the company’s Arkansas Nuclear One Unit One plant received a new lease on life as the plant was licensed to operate until 2034. This is a major achievement for Entergy and not only contributes to the company’s power needs, but its other initiatives as well. In addition, in December 2018, the NRC renewed the Waterford 3 plant's license to 2044 and the River Bend plant's license to 2045. The company now offers license renewal services across the nuclear industry. Adding another 20 years to each plant’s operating license makes sense because nuclear energy is now the lowest cost way to generate electricity – without emitting any air pollutants or greenhouse gases that may worsen climate change.
In 2013 the company announced plans to close Vermont Yankee at the end of 2014. Vermont Yankee was removed from the grid Dec. 29, 2014, marking the end of 42 years of safe, secure and reliable operations. In the years since then, Entergy has followed a strategy to reduce risks and shrink the footprint of the Entergy Wholesale Commodities merchant nuclear power business. In 2015, the company announced plans to permanently close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station no later than 2019. In December 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Entergy’s sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon, and Entergy announced plans to close Palisades Power Plant in 2018. However, in September 2017, the company revised that plan and announced it will continue to operate the Palisades plant until spring 2022 under the existing power purchase agreement. In March 2017 Entergy completed the sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon. In January 2017, the company announced that after more than four decades of providing New York state with clean, safe and reliable electricity, we planned to close the Indian Point Energy Center Unit 2 in 2020 and Unit 3 in 2021. The early and orderly shutdown is part of a settlement under which New York state agreed to drop legal challenges and support renewal of the operating licenses for Indian Point. In April 2019, the company announced plans to sell the subsidiaries that own Indian Point Units 1, 2, and 3 to a Holtec International subsidiary for decommissioning.
In November 2016, Entergy agreed to sell Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services for accelerated decommissioning. The NRC approved the proposed license transfers in October 2018. The Vermont Public Utility Commission approved the sale in December 2018, and the sale was completed in January 2019. In August 2018 Entergy agreed to sell the subsidiaries that own the Pilgrim and Palisades nuclear plants, after their shutdowns and reactor defuelings, to a Holtec International subsidiary for accelerated decommissioning. The sales include the transfer of the licenses, spent fuel and nuclear decommissioning trusts, as well as the site of the decommissioned Big Rock Point Nuclear near Charlevoix, Michigan, where only the independent spent fuel storage installation remains. The transactions were subject to conditions to closing, including approvals from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the license transfers. Pilgrim shut down in May 2019. In August 2019 the NRC approved the license transfer to Holtec, and the same month the sale of Pilgrim was completed.
In 2007, the NRC granted the company the early site permit for a second nuclear unit at Grand Gulf in Port Gibson, Miss. An early site permit certifies that the site is suitable for a new nuclear unit and resolves many safety and environmental issues related to the site.
Although Entergy has not yet made a final decision to build a new nuclear plant, the company’s business development group is working to preserve the option if nuclear is determined to be the best choice for customers and investors. As part of the NuStart consortium, Entergy Nuclear in 2008 submitted to the NRC an application for a combined construction and operating license for a possible new unit at the Grand Gulf site. NuStart’s efforts are cost-shared as part of DOE’s Nuclear Power 2010 program. On its own, Entergy Nuclear in 2008 submitted an application for a combined construction and operating license for the River Bend site. Currently, Entergy is exploring nuclear plant designs that can be applied to licensing work done to date to best serve the company's customers.
In 2007 Entergy announced a plan to spin off its non-utility nuclear business and create a new, independent company, Enexus Energy Corporation, and EquaGen, a nuclear services joint venture with Enexus. In April 2010, after several regulatory delays and a ruling by the New York Public Service Commission to reject the spin-off, Entergy made the decision to unwind the business infrastructure associated with the proposed new companies.
Today and Beyond
Throughout its history, Entergy has been a major source for economic development throughout its service territory, which includes some of the nation's poorest regions. While providing a product vital to expansion, the company also has played an active role in attracting business and industry to the area. The companies utilities have announced numerous agreements in recent years to provide power to manufacturers, gas processing plants and other new commercial and industrial sites in the Gulf South. In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Gustav and Ike in 2008, Isaac in 2012, Harvey in 2017, a record-breaking series of hurricanes in 2020 including Hurricane Laura, and a series of damaging winter storms and tornadoes, Entergy companies have played a key role in rebuilding infrastructure so that communities affected by the storms have the best chance to revitalize their economies.
In addition to economic concerns, Entergy is heavily involved in environmental and social issues. Believing that all companies should be good corporate citizens, Entergy has pledged to cap greenhouse gases by partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund. In 2001 the company was the first utility in the United States to voluntarily limit carbon emissions. And in 2021 Entergy announced it is accelerating its climate action goals with a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In addition it is working hard on its low-income initiatives to help poor and fixed-income families with assistance when utility bills are higher during extreme cold and heat. Entergy leadership is actively involved with helping the Mississippi Delta region, one of the most economically deprived in the country, by attracting new business and interest in this untapped resource.
In 2007 Entergy sponsored an influential study on poverty often cited in the national policy debate, and announced a renewed commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During 2008, Entergy was included in the Forbes list of American's Most Trustworthy Companies, and received a special Award of Excellence from Platts Global Energy Awards for Entergy's "extraordinary track record of standout performances year after year" over the past decade. The 2009 Sustainability Yearbook recognized Entergy among the top-scoring 15 percent of 2,500 worldwide companies on corporate sustainability measurements. In 2015, the company was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North American Index and World Index. Entergy has been included on at least one of those indexes every year since 2002. In addition, in 2015 Corporate Responsibility Magazine again named Entergy Corporation as one of the top 100 corporate citizens in the United States. In 2015 the company was named for the eighth consecutive year by Site Selection Magazine one of the "Top Utilities in Economic Development in North America." Leo P. Denault, chairman and CEO, has noted that Entergy has a "unique opportunity in our utility business to power the industrial renaissance that is occurring in the Gulf South region."
The Entergy story began with a handshake between two people and it continues with another handshake -- a handshake that is not just a greeting between two businessmen wanting to make a deal, but a grasp between a business and its stakeholders. Entergy is reaching out to all customers, stockholders, regulators, and other interested parties to help realize what Harvey Couch knew in the earliest days of the company -- that if we are to be successful we must provide a reliable product at a good price. Entergy works hard every day at making this happen.
Timeline of Significant Events in Entergy's History
Arkansas Power Company is incorporated by Harvey Couch.
Couch lights Arkadelphia and Malvern, Arkansas.
Couch acquires additional properties and renames company to Arkansas Light and Power (AP&L).
New Orleans Public Service, Inc. (NOPSI) established as sole provider of utility and transit service in New Orleans.
Mississippi Power and Light Company (MP&L) is formed.
Remmel Dam becomes Couch's first hydro project.
All Couch companies are combined with Electric Bond and Share (EBASCO).
Public Utility Holding Company Act is passed by Congress placing restrictions on multi-state utilities.
Harvey Couch dies.
Middle South Utilities, Inc. (MSU), Entergy's forerunner, is formed from old Couch companies in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. Edgar Dixon is first company executive and the corporate headquarters are in New York City.
NOPSI begins construction of A.B. Patterson station to meet six-fold increase in the city's electricity demand.
Congress passes the Atomic Energy Act allowing private companies to build nuclear plants.
Little Gypsy, the world's first fully automated fossil generation plant, comes on line.
Edgar Dixon dies; Gerald Andrus becomes second company leader
Service Company is formed to provide common services to all companies.
Hurricane Betsy destroys southern end of the system; massive rebuilding required.
AP&L announces plans to build nuclear plant near Russellville, Arkansas.
AP&L customers are doubling electricity usage every eight years.
LP&L announces plans for construction of Waterford 3 nuclear plant near Taft, La., outside New Orleans.
AP&L implements the nation's first battery-powered bucket truck, replacing bucket arms that worked off the motor of the truck.
MP&L announces plans for the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Miss.
System Fuels, Inc. is formed to centrally buy all fuel for the system plants.
Arab oil embargo occurs, resulting in a moratorium on oil- and gas-fired plants.
Gerald Andrus retires and Floyd Lewis assumes presidency of MSU.
Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 1 comes on line in Russellville.
The federal Atomic Energy Commission grants MP&L full construction permit for Grand Gulf.
Middle South corporate headquarters moved from New York to New Orleans.
Forecasts predict slower load growth.
Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 2 comes on line in Russellville.
Grand Gulf power and construction cost allocation case is filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Coal-fired Independence generation station begins operation in Arkansas.
MP&L is the first MSU company to sign a Fair Share agreement with NAACP; AP&L soon follows.
NOPSI sells its New Orleans streetcar and bus properties to Regional Transit Authority in the city.
FERC administrative law judge issues order allocating Grand Gulf One power and cost.
LP&L and NOPSI sign Fair Share agreements with NAACP.
Grand Gulf One is placed in commercial operation.
FERC affirms the administrative law judge's allocation of Grand Gulf One costs.
Waterford 3 begins commercial operation.
MSU omits its stockholder dividend because of financial pressures on the company. Floyd Lewis retires and Edwin Lupberger becomes system's fourth chief executive.
MSU suspends construction of Grand Gulf Two nuclear plant.
MSU becomes the first holding company in U.S. to sign Fair Share agreement with NAACP. Grand Gulf sets world record for continuous operation of boiling water reactor nuclear plant.
U.S. Supreme Court decides Grand Gulf case in System's favor. Middle South resumes dividend payments.
Middle South Utilities, Inc. officially changes its name to Entergy Corporation.
System establishes Entergy Operations, Inc. to manage all nuclear facilities as single site.
Energy Policy Act is passed by Congress, changing the structure of the utility Industry.
Entergy announces it plans to acquire Gulf States Utilities, Inc.
Entergy completes merger with Gulf States by end of year.
Entergy embarks on five-year global and business expansion plan.
Entergy acquires London Electricity in Britain along with CitiPower in Australia, both retail electric companies .
Wholesale marketing and trading begins through Entergy Power Marketing (subsidiary).
Edwin Lupberger resigns and Bob Luft becomes chairman of Entergy board and acting CEO (May, 1998).
"Back to Basics strategy" is implemented with all non-core utility operations being sold.
J. Wayne Leonard becomes CEO (November, 1998).
In second quarter company begins beating Wall Street's expectations on earnings.
Entergy's financial picture continues to improve, company emphasizes corporate citizenship.
Company's economic development efforts focus on Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest areas of the U.S.
Entergy Nuclear begins purchasing plants in Northeast section of the U.S. First plant to be bought is Pilgrim Station in Plymouth, Mass.
Texas and Arkansas pass constructive legislation on utility competition.
First Low Income Summit is conducted to help low and middle income customers.
Entergy wins first EEI Emergency Response Award for Hurricane Georges recovery. The company remains the only utility in the nation to win an EEI Emergency Response Award every year they have been offered.
Saltend power plant in Britain begins commercial operation.
Company forms partnership with Shaw Group, Inc to form EntergyShaw, L.L.C.
Additional Nuclear plants outside of service area join Entergy Nuclear, Inc. -- Indian Point 3 in Westchester County, N.Y., and FitzPatrick in Oswego County.
N.Y. Regional nuclear headquarters for Northeast established in White Plains, N.Y.
Entergy Charitable Foundation established to focus on low income initiatives, education and literacy programs.
Arkansas and northern Louisiana hit by two "hundred year" ice storms. Extensive restoration effort mounted by Entergy, with 10,000 workers on the scene.
Merger of Entergy with FPL Group, parent of Florida Power & Light, is announced.
Gerald Andrus dies.
Company forms partnership with Koch Industries to form Entergy- Koch, LP.
Damhead Creek power plant in Britain begins commercial operation.
Merger with FPL Group is canceled by mutual consent of both companies.
Company signs agreement with Environmental Defense Fund to hold greenhouse emissions to 2000 level, first U.S. utility to make such a pledge.
Arkansas Nuclear One Unit 1 is granted license extension until 2034 by FERC.
Saltend power plant sold to Calpine.
Entergy Nuclear purchases Indian Point 2 plant in Westchester County, N.Y.
Earnings for the year 2001 broke the record for annual earnings set by the company just one year ago. Entergy's earnings marked the 15th consecutive quarter in which the company exceeded the consensus estimate of financial analysts.
Entergy earns the industry's highest honor - the 2002 Edison Award - from the Edison Electric Institute.
Entergy Nuclear purchases Vermont Yankee nuclear plant near Brattleboro, Vt.
2003 Entergy Signs to Furnish Management to Cooper Nuclear Station.
Entergy and CEO J. Wayne Leonard capture top Platts/BusinessWeek Global Energy Awards.
Entergy first U.S. utility to buy Geologic Carbon Sequestration Credits.
Entergy's Under-River High-Voltage Transmission Line makes power industry history and increases reliability.
Entergy-Koch Trading sold to Merrill Lynch.
Gulf South Pipeline sold to TGT Pipeline, LLC.
Entergy earns the industry's highest honor - the 2005 Edison Award - from the Edison Electric Institute, for the second time.
Hurricanes Katrina (Aug. 29) and Rita (Sept. 24) strike large portions of Entergy's service area in the South, knocking out power to a record 1.8 million customers combined. Service was restored to most customers within a few days, and by Oct. 15 to all who could safely receive power.
J. Wayne Leonard is elected Chairman and CEO.
The company's corporate headquarters returns to New Orleans after a nine-month relocation to Jackson, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina. Entergy announces a new principal-offices structure to house some business-critical functions in additional cities.
The company transferred reliability coordination for its transmission system to the Independent Coordinator of Transmission, after managing responsibility for reliability in the transmission systems of several companies since 1988.
Entergy completes the purchase of the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan.
Entergy Gulf States completes its planned separation into Louisiana and Texas companies.
Entergy announced it will purchase the 322MW Calcasieu Generating Facility in southwestern Louisiana, and the 789-megawatt Ouachita Plant near Monroe, La., and repower the existing natural gas generating unit at the Little Gypsy site in Montz, La.
The company announced plans to spin off its non-utility nuclear business.
Forbes named Entergy among the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies based on an independent analysis of accounting and governance practices.
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. completed the purchase of the Calcasieu Generating Facility.
Entergy crews from four states restored power for hundreds of thousands of customers after separate severe weather outbreaks, including tornadoes, in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi during January, February and April.
More than 4,000 workers worked to restore power to customers after a severe January ice storm in Arkansas.
The 2009 Sustainability Yearbook recognized Entergy among the top-scoring 15 percent of 2,500 worldwide companies on corporate sustainability measurements.
Entergy announced plans to acquire Unit 2 of the Acadia Energy Center, a 580-megawatt generating unit located near Eunice, La.
The company identified and stopped a source of tritium leakage at its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and began work to support the remediation of soil and groundwater at the site.
The company announced it would unwind the business infrastructure associated with a previously announced plan to spin off its non-utility nuclear business.
As part of a reorganization the company created Entergy Wholesale Commodities, or EWC, to integrate the assets of Entergy Nuclear and Entergy Asset Management.
Entergy announced in its 2010 sustainability report that it had successfully completed the company's second voluntary commitment to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at 20 percent below year 2000 levels.
The company announced it would seek regulatory approval to join the regional transmission organization Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator.
The company asked for approval to build a state-of-the-art natural gas generation unit at its existing Ninemile Point Plant in Louisiana, and completed the acquisition of the Acadia Energy Center unit.
Entergy Wholesale Commodities purchased the Rhode Island State Energy Center, an approximately 583-megawatt, natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating plant.
Entergy Corporation and ITC Holdings Corp. announced that the Boards of Directors of both companies had approved a definitive agreement under which Entergy will divest and then merge its electric transmission business into ITC.
Entergy acquired the Hot Springs (Arkansas) and Hinds (Mississippi) energy facilities.
Hurricane Isaac left more than 787,000 customers without power, making it the fourth-most significant storm in Entergy’s history in terms of outages.
The Edison Electric Institute honored Entergy for its work restoring power to its customers after Hurricane Isaac and to customers of other utilities after Hurricane Sandy and the June 2012 derecho weather event. It was the 15th consecutive year Entergy received an EEI national storm restoration award.
The company announced that J. Wayne Leonard will retire as Entergy chairman and CEO and be succeeded by Leo Denault.
Entergy completed all of the retail regulatory decisions needed for the six operating companies to move forward with their plan to join MISO.
MISO assumed the role of Entergy's independent coordinator of transmission.
After leading the company for 14 years, longer than any other CEO in company history, Wayne Leonard retired in January 2013. Leo Denault, previously Entergy's executive vice president and chief financial officer, succeeded Leonard as chairman and CEO on Feb. 1, 2013.
The company announced it plans to close and begin decommissioning its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station at the end of 2014.
Entergy and ITC announced they would discontinue pursuit of a transmission spin/merger.
The six Entergy utility operating companies formally began operations in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, after more than two years of planning, design and implementation.
Entergy celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Entergy Corporation earned the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award and Emergency Assistance Award, for Entergy’s exceptional power restoration efforts after a widespread winter storm and tornadoes in December 2012 and its assistance to Alabama Power after severe storms in March 2013. It marked the 16th consecutive year the company had received an EEI national storm restoration award.
Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana asked the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission to become a single utility.
Entergy Louisiana added a new power plant to its fleet, with the December completion of the Ninemile 6 combined-cycle gas turbine unit in Westwego, Louisiana.
Vermont Yankee was removed from the grid at on Dec. 29, 2014, marking the end of 42 years of safe, secure and reliable operations.
Entergy announced in August plans to build the St. Charles Power Station, a 980 megawatt combined-cycle generating unit, in Montz, Louisiana, about 30 miles from New Orleans.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved Entergy’s proposal to combine Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy Louisiana, effective Oct. 1, 2015.
The New Orleans City Council approved the transfer to Entergy New Orleans, effective Sept. 1, 2015, of approximately 22,500 electric customers in the Algiers area of the New Orleans area who were previously served by Entergy Louisiana.
In October, Entergy announced its decision to permanently close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station no later than 2019, and in November 2015 the company announced plans to close the James A. FitzPatrick plant by early 2017.
In March, adding nearly 2,000 megawatts of generation, three Entergy operating companies closed the transaction to buy the Union Power Station near El Dorado, Arkansas.
The company announced in April that it intends to refuel the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in 2017 to continue supplying power to the New England region and then cease operations May 31, 2019.
Entergy announced it has agreed to sell Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services for accelerated decommissioning.
In December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Entergy’s sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon, and Entergy announced plans to close Palisades Power Plant on Oct. 1, 2018.
In January, the company announced plans to close Indian Point Energy Center Unit 2 in 2020 and Unit 3 in 2021.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved construction of the 994-megawatt Lake Charles Power Station in Westlake.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas approved construction of Montgomery County Power Station, Entergy’s first new generation project in Texas since 1979.
In March Entergy completed the sale of FitzPatrick to Exelon.
In August the company agreed to sell the subsidiaries that own the Pilgrim and Palisades nuclear plants, after their shutdowns and reactor defuelings, to a Holtec International subsidiary for accelerated decommissioning.
In January, Entergy completed the sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services.
In April, Entergy announced plans to sell Indian Point Units 1, 2, and 3 to a Holtec International subsidiary for decommissioning.
In August, Entergy completed the sale of the subsidiary that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to a Holtec International subsidiary.
In March, the company dedicated its power plant in St. Charles Parish, renaming it the J. Wayne Leonard Power Station in recognition of our late chairman and CEO’s legacy of environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility.
In March, Entergy Louisiana’s Lake Charles Power Station began commercial operation, providing another source of reliable and clean energy to a region that has seen substantial growth in recent years.
On April 30, control room operators at Indian Point Unit 2 shut down the reactor for the final time after more than 45 years of producing clean, safe and reliable power for New York. Unit 3 is scheduled to permanently shut down by April 30, 2021.
Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, Aug. 27 and left more than 900,000 customers without power.
In September Entergy announced it is accelerating its climate action goals with a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.