Approximately $4.5-million project will improve service reliability.
To keep the power flowing, Entergy Mississippi has installed dozens of new devices throughout its service area in places that have experienced multiple outages.
Called reclosers, these devices are basically circuit breakers that temporarily open a line when momentary problems occur, such as a tree limb falling on a line or an animal getting into the equipment. This “sectionalizing” of the power grid does three things:
- helps prevent additional damage to equipment,
- reduces the frequency and length of outages and
- reduces the number of customers affected.
“A recloser is a lot like a circuit breaker in your house,” said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of distribution operations. “When a breaker overloads or short circuits, it cuts off electrical current to the problem line until the issue can be safely addressed. If a limb or animal brushes the line, the power comes back on automatically when that line is cleared.”
If there is a brief problem with the electrical system and it can correct itself, customers may only experience a momentary blink. However, while the reclosers can prevent or reduce some outages, they cannot restore power in the event of major damage, such as when a tree falls on a line or a car hits a utility pole.
“We used historical data to determine where reclosers would have the most impact in reducing the number of customers affected should a power outage occur,” said Jeter. “By adding equipment that isolates areas experiencing problems, overall customer power disruptions can be reduced.”
To determine where to install the reclosers, engineers looked at every circuit in every network in Entergy Mississippi’s service area. The company ultimately installed 69 reclosers in its networks in:
Central Mississippi: Jackson, Madison, Rankin, mid-state Mississippi
North: Cleveland, Elliot, Greenville, Grenada, Rolling Fork, Southaven and
South: Brookhaven, Clinton, Natchez, and Vicksburg.
Jeter said the project is well worth it.
“Our goal is to provide customers with safe, reliable and affordable power,” he said. “This is why we are always working to make our electrical grid stronger and more resilient.”
Entergy Mississippi, LLC provides electricity to approximately 450,000 customers in 45 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,500 employees.