Entergy Texas there for us all through good times and storms

Published 1:47 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2021

By Van Wade

Entergy Texas continues to grow and is all about keeping Orange County “energized”.

That was never more evident when Hurricane Laura blew through our region in August.

More than 6,000 workers converged on Jefferson and Orange counties to complete restoration efforts. Those crews worked so hard to repair significant damage to Entergy Texas’ system following Hurricane Laura. Crews found more than 1,000 downed distribution poles, more than 200 blown transformers and approximately 380,000 feet of downed wire. Additionally, 37 Entergy Texas substations and 63 transmission lines in Texas were impacted.

Entergy Texas crews worked non-stop, 24/7 to ensure the region got power back as soon as possible.

As Southeast Texas grows, Entergy Texas is investing now to power tomorrow with reliable and affordable energy. These investments will create jobs, spur economic development and improve how we serve customers.

They are taking steps today to make investments in infrastructure that will ensure long term reliable service for their customers and set a foundation for businesses to grow across the region.  One of the most critical factors in attracting and growing new businesses is a reliable and affordable supply of electricity. The investments Entergy is making will ensure that they have the right infrastructure in place to reliably serve our customers and grow our local economies.

In addition to the investment made to date, Entergy Texas plans to invest nearly $2 billion over the next three years to improve how Entergy Texas serves customers.  Some of Entergy Texas’ planned investments include:

*Construction of the Montgomery County Power Station; the construction of this facility is estimated to provide nearly $1 billion in economic activity across Texas.  Additionally, the facility will provide a reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity for a growing region, resulting in estimated savings of $1.7 billion over 30 years for Entergy Texas’ customers.

*Building three major transmission projects that will drive economic growth and provide access to lower cost power, including the China-Stowell project, the Port Arthur Reliability project and the Western Region Economic Project.

*Replacing outdated equipment with new technology that improves reliability, including the deployment of an advanced meter system that puts more tools at customers’ fingertips to help customers understand and manage their energy use more effectively, which can lead to lower bills.

But Entergy’s commitment to Southeast Texas isn’t just about making sure the lights stay on. Entergy only succeeds if their communities succeed alongside them.  Entergy is committed to supporting non-profit and community organizations across our service area.  By supporting our communities, we are able to ensure that Southeast Texas continues to flourish into the future.

As we look across our region, we are fortunate to have a great deal of growth.  We see industrial growth opportunities in the Golden Triangle, as well as residential growth in the western part of our region.

The construction of the Montgomery County Power Station is an essential piece of Entergy Texas’ work to meet that growth. By providing reliable, affordable power, we can meet our customers’ needs today, while laying the foundation for future growth across our region.

The Montgomery County Power Station will benefit all customers across the Entergy Texas service area– regardless of where customers live across our region.

We will be building this facility next to our Lewis Creek Power Plant, which was constructed nearly 50 years ago. This location allows us to provide the needed power for all of Southeast Texas, while also economically addressing some local reliability issues in the western region of our footprint.

This addition of nearly 1,000 megawatts of reliable, baseload power will allow us to replace older, more inefficient power plants with newer, cleaner technology.  And that increased efficiency directly benefits customers. On the very first day of the plant’s operation, customers will start to see benefits from the plant.

The fuel savings from this power plant will result in up to $1.7 billion in savings for customers. In fact, we expect these savings to pay for the cost of the plant after roughly 10 years – a third of the lifecycle of the plant.

The addition of MCPS will ensure that customers continue to benefit from reliable and affordable energy. But construction of this plant will also help play a major role in growing the Texas economy.  We expect that construction of the plant will provide nearly $1 billion in economic activity in Texas.

New technology provides tools to improve how we serve customers. Many of the new technologies we are deploying – such as advanced meters – will help accomplish this.

Advanced meters will enable us to provide our customers new online tools to help better manage energy usage, as well as allow for quicker and more accurate detection of outages.  We are also deploying technology to give us better visibility into our equipment across the region and in some cases, identify and fix problems on the electric grid before they affect customers.

We believe advanced meters establish the foundation that will enable us to put the power in customers hands to manage their electricity usage.  No more waiting until the end of the month to see how much electricity you used.  You’ll be able to log online and see on a daily basis how much you’re using and make adjustments before you get your bill.

Entergy’s mission as a company is ‘We Power Life.’  This means much more that providing reliable, affordable electricity to our customers. It means supporting the customers we serve and the communities in which we operate to be successful and prosper.  We certainly have a tremendous focus on making sure we keep the power flowing in our communities along with an equal focus on keeping our customer’s bills affordable, but we are also working with community partners across our region to help Southeast Texas grow and be successful.  Whether that is working with our large industrial customers to grow new business or helping organizations like the Southeast Texas Food Bank and the United Way of Beaumont thrive, we want to be a part of what matters for this community.

We also look to establish a quality educational pipeline to meet the business needs of the future.  That’s why we were excited to partner with Lamar, LIT, BISD and PAISD among others in our workforce development initiative workforce in 2017.

We see our company is not just a utility, but a force for good across the areas we serve.  Our goal is to ensure that we are delivering on that promise to every customer across Southeast Texas.  From residents who call the area home to businesses looking to expand, we will be here making sure modern, low-cost infrastructure is in place to help the economy grow, while at the same time, working to create opportunity for all those who live here.