The first light is a sign of hope, early this morning, as Entergy crews turn power on for some customers in Eastern New Orleans with generation supplied by the New Orleans Power Station. This is the first step in bringing power back to the metro region, after Hurricane Ida left devastating destruction in its path.
While initial service can be provided to some customers, the full restoration will still take time given the significant damage across the region. Crews will have to methodically bring back additional transmission lines over time to provide other pathways for power to enter the region, helping to maintain stability of the system throughout the complete restoration process.
Additionally, crews will continue work to repair damage across the distribution lines that serve homes and neighborhoods across the region.
With extensive damage to the system across the region, much of the redundancy built into the electric system is limited. This makes it difficult to move power around the region to customers, and limits options to power customers in the event of equipment failure or additional damage to the system.
Entergy has determined two options to bring first lights into the Greater New Orleans area by late evening Wednesday, Sept. 1.
The company is working on the following solutions to restore power:
- Restoration of certain critical transmission lines that tie the Greater New Orleans region to the larger electric grid – this is the preferred solution; or
- Creating an “island” that would temporarily isolate the Greater New Orleans region from the larger electric grid. This stand-alone grid will operate on a limited basis supplied by local generation from the New Orleans Power Station in Eastern New Orleans and Ninemile 6 in Bridge City.
Under either scenario, New Orleans Power Station and Ninemile Power Station will be extremely valuable and important local sources of generation providing power to customers.
Any power to the region will allow the company to begin powering critical infrastructure in the area such as hospitals, nursing homes and first responders in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, as well as parts of St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes. Restoration will vary by parish and neighborhood based on local transmission and distribution damage.