ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The combination of damage from recent storms, current flood conditions, unusually high demand from higher temperatures and routine scheduled maintenance is challenging the ability of Entergy utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to meet customer demands for power.
Entergy said it has already reduced demand by curtailing some industrial and wholesale customers with whom the company has special agreements.
“This is a very unique situation, and we are facing significant challenges,” said Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi Inc. “We’re working to import purchased power and we’ve curtailed power sales to those with whom we have agreements, but it’s important that our customers are aware that we could face power shortages until these conditions improve.”
Damage to Entergy’s transmission facilities in Arkansas from several April storms makes operating the undamaged parts of the company’s four-state system a challenge until repair and restoration are complete. Massive resources are focused on getting them back into service, but it remains a huge, labor-intensive project, according to the utility.
Entergy is required to meet the National Electric Safety Code for transmission line clearance and the floods are challenging the companies’ ability to do so. The threat of Mississippi River flooding means some generating plants along the river, as well as some transmission and distribution lines, may be restricted or taken offline due to limited transmission availability across the system.
In addition, unseasonably high temperatures are creating additional demands on the power grid as customers use more electricity to cool their homes and businesses. This is occurring at a time when some plants are already offline for routine scheduled maintenance in preparation for summer’s peak demands.
Any steps customers can take to conserve power at this time will help lessen the risk for power curtailment and the severity of any necessary curtailment, Entergy said.