Entergy Substation Will Replace Old Steam Turbines as S&WB Power Source

Tropical Weather New Orleans
A man walks in the parking lot of the University Medical Center (UMC) with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the background on Galvez Street in New Orleans after flooding from a storm Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced a plan to replace outdated steam-powered turbines as the primary source of power at Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans pumping stations. Instead, Entergy New Orleans will build a new power plant at the S&WB’s Carrollton Plant and begin charging the the utility for the service. The new substation will provide power to the citywide pumping system.

The roughly $74 million project, which has been discussed for years, will provide a new substation, frequency changers, and power integration that the S&WB hopes will provide increased and consistent power reliability, said a city spokesperson in a press release.

During recent extreme weather events, the aging S&WB infrastructure has struggled to keep water out of many neighborhoods. The utility’s century-old, steam-powered turbines have a history of failure and several of them have been offline for years.

The City said funding sources for the new project include $20 million from city bonds, another $20 million from the State of Louisiana, and $35 million from Entergy.

“From my first day in office, my administration has maintained a focus on improving our city’s infrastructure and adapting to our environmental challenges,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a release. “Today, we are announcing critical step towards an unprecedented partnership that will give our city a transformative $74 million infrastructure project – providing a reliable power source for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. This also will greatly reduce both costs and carbon emissions, improve environmental justice, and protect our ratepayers.”

“Entergy New Orleans is committed to modernizing the City’s power infrastructure in a way that also addresses climate change. Today, is an important step in that direction,” said Deanna Rodriguez, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. “We are all in this together and look forward to working closely with the New Orleans City Council, Mayor Cantrell, and the Sewerage & Water Board on this important investment for the City of New Orleans.”

Officials hope the project will bring reliable power to the Carrollton Plant by the start of the 2023 hurricane season. They say cost savings from the modern equipment will prevent rate increases for S&WB or Entergy customers.

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