Entergy Faces Many Questions About Power Restoration and New Power Plant

Credit: “Look Up Fondren Entergy substation lit up” by Tate Nations is licensed under CC BY 2.0

At an emergency meeting of the New Orleans City Council at 10 am today, Council President Helena Moreno will take the lead in grilling Entergy about the timeline and process of restoring electricity to Orleans Parish and rebuilding the grid which was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Ida.

Central to that discussion is the apparent failure of the New Orleans Power Station (NOPS) to self-start after the storm. During the approval process for the station in 2017, Charles Rice, then Entergy New Orleans’ President, told the Council that the proposed facility would have the capability to deliver on its self-generated power without being connected to an additional system.

Below is Entergy New Orleans’ statement:
“NOPS in fact has blackstart capability, and that capability was used to restart NOPS.  It was restarted in conjunction with bringing on a transmission line in order to provide a tie into the bulk electric system that would facilitate the restoration of load that exceeded NOPS’s 130 MW capability and to provide additional security and stability.”

NOPS began functioning properly after being connected through a Slidell power source. It has the capacity to generate enough electricity for 10% of the city’s needs.

New Orleans is virtually an island surrounded by water. The city is powered from 8 access points. Entergy is trying to bring in additional power from the north. Power will also be needed from the Waterford Nuclear Power Plant. A damage assessment of damage at Waterford is ongoing.

These all only short term measures to restore electricity to homes and businesses in New Orleans.  Surrounding parishes – and counties as far away as New York State – are facing similar problems, but far less complicated.

The NOPS operates on natural gas that is produced in Louisiana. It was built to replace an aging station that has become too difficult and costly to repair.  The new station was heralded as an opportunity to keep utility costs down for ratepayers.

A larger station with greater transmission capabilities was originally planned but the Council forced Entergy to scale back their plans after citizens living close to the site voiced their concerns. Environmentalists also would have preferred an investment in wind or solar power.

Entergy is currently investing in solar but a larger NOPS would have meant that thousand fewer New Orleanians would be sweating in their homes today.

The Council meeting is virtual and can be viewed only on YouTube.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *