Entergy’s push to restore power to Louisiana is slowed by downed lines
The storm also damaged some of the utility factories in the New Orleans area, Entergy said Tuesday. As the storm’s winds increased, Entergy said, it disconnected the Waterford 3 nuclear power plant in St. Charles Parish from the grid, noting that the facility remained in a safe and stable condition. The plant has been listed on the website of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as not producing electricity.
Extreme weather conditions
Governor John Bel Edwards, who congratulated Entergy on building the J. Wayne Leonard plant, expressed frustration on Tuesday at the rate at which the company was restoring power.
“I’m not happy with 30 days, the people at Entergy are not happy with 30 days, no one who needs electricity is happy with that,” said Edwards, a Democrat. “But I’m aware that we just had the strongest hurricane – at least tied for the strongest – the state has ever seen.”
Entergy supplies electricity to three million customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. It also operates several nuclear power plants, mostly in the South.
The financial costs of the storms are piling up for Entergy. In addition to the repairs it makes because of Ida, the company’s equipment was damaged in three hurricanes in 2020 and a winter storm this year. Entergy told Louisiana regulators that restoration costs in the state related to previous storms would total $ 2.1 billion.
Storms seem to do more damage. Regulators let the Entergy entities recover $ 732 million for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which struck in 2005, according to documents that Phillip May, chief executive of Entergy Louisiana, submitted to the Louisiana Civil Service Commission in April. After adjusting for inflation, the two 2005 hurricanes cost the company $ 1 billion in 2021 dollars.
The company is seeking permission to charge customers higher electricity rates to cover repair costs. Regulators usually end up approving such requests, but taxpayers can object to frequent rate increases.