Construction is underway on a joint effort by Entergy Louisiana and Cleco to construct a new storm-hardened transmission line that will strengthen service reliability for customers across southeast Louisiana.
The 36-mile line will stretch from Gray to Patterson on steel structures designed to withstand winds of up to 150 mph. The final portions of the project are expected to be completed by fall 2018.
“This project is a great example of two utilities working together to benefit customers of both companies,” said Melonie Stewart, Entergy Louisiana’s regional director of customer service. “It’s part of Entergy Louisiana’s commitment to invest in upgrading our power grid to better serve our customers.”
“The partnership will improve power reliability for customers in south Louisiana,” said Terry Whitmore, Cleco’s general manager of transmission strategy. “It also will strengthen the transmission infrastructure to minimize the potential for storm damage including hurricanes, and it will improve restoration times.”
Entergy Louisiana’s portion of the project, which includes building 24 miles of the new 230 kV transmission line and additional related work, will cost approximately $65 million. Cleco expects to spend $48 million to build 12 miles of the line.
Entergy Louisiana is building its portion of the line from its Terrebonne substation near Gray to a point at Bayou Boeuf near Amelia where it will interconnect with Cleco’s line. Cleco will construct its line between the interconnection and its Bayou Vista substation near Patterson.
To protect wetlands, Entergy Louisiana will rely extensively on helicopters and marsh buggies to construct the new line, which parallels an existing transmission line and will include erecting approximately 235 new structures. The steel transmission structures will typically range in height from 80 to 115 feet and will be supported on one-piece steel foundations weighing as much as 20 tons. The largest of Entergy Louisiana’s structures will be approximately 195 feet tall and used in crossing Bayou Boeuf.
“The majority of Cleco’s structures and foundations will be similar in design and size to those in the Entergy line with the exception of six structures between 198 and 239 feet tall which are required for crossing three major waterways - Atchafalaya River, Bayou Shaffer and Bayou Boeuf,” said Dean Sikes, Cleco’s vice president of engineering, construction and project management. “While this project will be challenging and require extensive equipment, this transmission line project will improve reliability for this region.”