Entergy projects

Pictured is a 500/230kV auto transformer. Installed in April of 2015, at the Nelson Switchyard in Lake Charles, it is identical to the one set in place at the Patton Substation, west of the West Cal Event Center, in June of 2017.

Several Entergy projects are currently underway in Southwest Louisiana, all part of what company representative Margaret Harris described as a “holistic approach” to improving reliability and supporting future growth.

The current flurry of activity takes into account reliability issues the company wishes to address, as well as the influx of customers coming on line. “It will also position us for the future,” she said.

Harris, along with Entergy rep Calvin Thibodeaux, spoke with the Daily News about projects of local interest. “We’re working toward reliability for all our customers, from the smallest to the largest,” said Thibodeaux.

One such project is the Lake Charles transmission project, due for completion soon. “That’s building out our transmission system,” said Harris. “The transmission system is the high-voltage infrastructure. Like the interstate system for power.”

According to Harris, the project provides Entergy Louisiana with a more robust transmission system. “It will benefit all customers in Southwest Louisiana,” she said. “It provides really good infrastructure with far-reaching effects.”

It is one of the largest transmission projects in Entergy’s history. Completed phases include the construction of two new substations, expansion of two substations, and the addition of about 25 total miles of high-voltage, storm-hardened transmission lines to move power more reliably and efficiently in the fast-growing southwest Louisiana region.

The initial 2016 price tag for the multi-phase project was approximately $159 million.

Entergy has also constructed 12 miles of new 230 kV transmission line between the Carlyss substation, across the Calcasieu River, terminating at the Solac substation, off of Ham Reid Road, east of Lake Street in Lake Charles.

Other projects include the completed Swisco Substation. “We’ll be energizing the feeders from that substation this month,” said Harris. It’s going to give us options that will help with reliability.”

In the event of an outage, new substations like Swisco allow Entergy to shift the load or perform field switching more easily and quickly, exposing fewer customers to outages. “It helps with contingencies,” she said.

Plans have been made for construction of a new substation in Carlyss that should be in service in the Spring of 2020.

Entergy is also upgrading an existing substation in South Carlyss/North Cameron Parish with a larger transformer. An upgrade to the substation near Ellender Bridge is underway and completion is expected in 2019.