Entergy New Orleans has introduced a groundbreaking initiative known as “Operation Gridiron,” aimed at strengthening the city’s power infrastructure through a substantial $1 billion investment. This initiative is strategically devised to enhance the grid’s resilience and preparedness, particularly in the face of increasingly frequent and severe storms.
A Response to Hurricane Ida
The New Orleans City Council requested the initiation of “Operation Gridiron” in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida in 2021. The proposal is currently under consideration by the City Council.
Key Features of the Plan
If approved, Entergy’s ambitious plan aims to achieve significant improvements to the power grid over a decade, divided into two five-year phases. The plan is anticipated to deliver several vital benefits:
- Enhanced Outage Reduction: Entergy plans to cut outage times by more than half, providing customers with increased reliability and saving millions of dollars.
- Reinforced Infrastructure: The initiative aims to upgrade thousands of power poles to withstand winds of up to 150 mph, offering greater resistance to storm-related damages.
- Power Line Hardening: They plan to significantly improve the grid’s resilience against extreme weather events by hardening a remarkable 650 miles (1046km) of power lines.
Funding and Support
During a press conference, Deanna Rodriguez, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, addressed the funding strategy for this substantial investment. She noted that for the initial five years, the company seeks to recover costs from customers, with additional funding options including grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) and other federal sources.
Entergy’s “Operation Gridiron” initiative has garnered recognition from the Department of Energy. It is part of a comprehensive $3.5 billion nationwide plan that aims to bolster the grid’s resilience, establish microgrids, and advance the generation of renewable energy.
Empowering the Community
As part of this broader initiative, Entergy New Orleans will introduce a backup battery project aimed at reducing energy costs for underserved customers, underlining the company’s commitment to community welfare and sustainability.
The launch of “Operation Gridiron” underscores Entergy New Orleans’ dedication to building a more robust, resilient, and sustainable power grid for the city’s future.