Entergy program focused on reliability and resilience

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – One of the biggest hurdles families in southwest Louisiana face in the aftermath of a hurricane is the number of days without power. Today, Entergy is working to alleviate that concern with a new program focused on reliability and resiliency.

“Entergy is building a large-scale project that we planned for reliability purposes and also to allow for growth. These types of projects strengthen our grid and strengthen what I call the Interstate or the high-voltage system for our region’s power supply,” said Margaret Harris, director of communications for Entergy.

Part of this large-scale project will include an additional feed to the grid from the east.

“And that’s a benefit for all of our customers in this project, we’re rebuilding a line and making it tougher,” Harris said.

Entergy rep Margaret Harris said the line could be beneficial in the event of a large-scale event like another hurricane.

Another part of what Entergy calls the mud lake to big lake project is a new crossing of the Calcasieu River. As part of the reliability project, a few new waterway crossings will be built. For resilience, the wind speed rating has been increased for the following structures to 175 mph:

    • Calcasieu crossing with very tall crossing structures off Burton Shipyard Rd and Tank Farm Rd – Foundation work for this crossing will commence in Q4 2022 with structure and line work targeted for the crossing in Q1 2023
    • Intra-coastal crossing – wind speed rating of 175 mph.
    • Choupique Bayou crossing structures will also be constructed with a wind speed improvement to 142 mph.

“And it will basically go from the Burton Shipyard Rd area to the Tank Farm Rd area where we will have a new Big Lake substation on the east side of Calcasieu,” Harris said.

If you’ve been on Highway 27 lately, you’ve probably seen crews performing high voltage work. Well, that’s another part of this project. There is currently visible work on the power lines along Highway 27 south of Sulfur to north of Hackberry.

“We have high-tension wooden structures that are being replaced by steel. It hardens our system, makes it more resilient. More resilient lines benefit our customers and you can see the proof of that in our high voltage system and we’ve seen it over time,” said Harris.

Planning for the project was taking place ahead of the 2020 hurricanes. Harris said the upgrades could be a game-changer in future storms, but will also provide more reliability even on a regular day.

On the east side, clearing has taken place for the project along Tank Farm Road, and foundation work is underway for the Big Lake substation. Approximately 150 poles/structures will be used for this project.

The project will benefit customers by June 2023, ahead of next year’s hurricane season.

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Ryan H. Bowman