Entergy Texas is actively pursuing grant funding from the U.S. government to support its infrastructure and electrical grid hardening initiative in Port Arthur, Texas. If successful, these funds would help offset the $79.5 million project cost and enable the company to enhance services for nearly half a million customers in Southeast Texas.
The project proposed by Entergy Texas aims to strengthen the electrical grid in Port Arthur by hardening 900 transmission structures and undergrounding 57 distribution structures and associated spans. These infrastructure improvements would enhance grid reliability, particularly during extreme weather events, benefiting approximately 7,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in disadvantaged communities within Port Arthur.
The planned activities, including hardening, undergrounding, and battery installations, would enhance the resilience of the local grid, improving circuit reliability during severe weather and expediting system restoration in case of outages.
Federal guidelines mandate that a significant portion (40%) of certain government investments should benefit marginalized and underserved communities. Entergy Texas deliberately selected the Pear Ridge-Kolbs-Lakeview project site with the aim of building resilience and alleviating the energy burden in a community where over 90% of residents meet the federal criteria for "disadvantaged" on multiple levels.
The service area of Entergy Texas is a prominent economic hub with various advantages, including exceptional infrastructure, access to major U.S. ports, favorable commodity spreads, a skilled workforce, and a growing industrial customer base. Government investments in the resilience of Entergy Texas' electrical grid will not only benefit the region but also contribute to national energy security and support the global economy through interstate transportation and international commerce.
Recently, Entergy Texas received a letter of encouragement from the federal government to proceed with full applications for the initial round of funding. These funding opportunities are made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, specifically the U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Resilience and Innovative Partnerships program.
The agency is expected to announce final award decisions in the coming fall, with winning submissions receiving government funding for half of the project's cost.