Entergy Mississippi has announced that it has replaced more than 1,000 wooden poles with stronger structures courtesy of a $28 million annual investment to harden the grid in the state.
Last year, Entergy Mississippi launched a project to accelerate the replacement of existing wooden transmission structures with steel or concrete poles, with the goal of replacing all wooden poles in 12-15 years.
“Our customers and communities depend on us to deliver reliable service,” Shawn Corkran, Entergy Mississippi’s vice president of reliability, said. “We study and invest in modernizing and strengthening our grid to ensure our customers have the power they need when they need it. This involves not just replacing aging infrastructure, but also updating our equipment with materials that improve our resiliency.”
In order to cover the roughly 461,000 customers in the company’s service areas, it was determined that modernization was essential to allow for a more efficient means of producing and transferring power across the grid.
Wooden poles were once the standard material for transmission structures. However, today steel and concrete poles are preferred as a more reliable way to hold high-voltage lines.
“We identified wooden transmission structures in need of replacement across the state,” Corkran said. “With these upgraded structures, we can provide a more hardened, reliable system for our customers and reduce the length of outages caused by transmission wood pole failures.”
Additional crews were brought on the system to replace the structures holding the lines, which will fortify the grid. These additional crews will also be available to help restore damaged transmission lines, improving the restoration times during unplanned outages or outages that may occur during storms.