Entergy Louisiana Will Make Power “On an Island” If Transmission Sources Are Damaged by Squirrels
The problem isn’t limited to squirrels. This problem was also experienced by customers of Entergy in Louisiana, which had been without power on Saturday morning. Whether a household or business was affected, the company was under scrutiny after Hurricane Ida. Entergy officials didn’t know what type of equipment was involved. However, it’s easy to imagine a potential problem if the company doesn’t respond quickly to a consumer’s questions.
Entergy promises to make power “on an island” if transmission sources are lost
While many of the company’s customers are relieved to know that they don’t have to worry about losing power, there’s a good chance that you’re wondering what this means. According to a recent article in Nature, Entergy has promised to make power “on an island” if transmission sources are damaged by squirrels. In response to the skepticism, the company has pledged to restore power to those areas whose transmission sources have been damaged by squirrels.
Entergy’s transmission system was damaged by Ida’s winds
As Hurricane Ida continues to batter the Southeast, Entergy is working to restore power to its customers. The company has 207 transmission lines out of service in Louisiana and Mississippi. Entergy expects that 900,000 customers will still be without power, though they will likely experience outages sooner than that. In addition to the outages, the company expects to deal with increased customer demands because the storm continues to move through the region.
Although Entergy’s power plants may have sustained physical damage, the damage was not enough to reduce production. Instead, transmission lines failed, allowing the company to cut off power to consumers. The company closed one of its nuclear plants on the Mississippi River ahead of Ida, and is currently working to upgrade its transmission network and rebuild its aging infrastructure. Even so, it’s unclear how much of Entergy’s transmission system has been impacted.
While addressing the issue of power supply, power outages are a major concern. Entergy’s transmission system was damaged during the storm, and the company expects to see more outages as the storm passes through the Gulf of Mexico. Entergy plans to install backup diesel generators at its Killona nuclear plant to restore power to customers in the affected area. And it has announced it will hire 20,000 additional personnel to work on the issue.
Creating a self-generated power source from within the “island”
Creating a self-generated power source on an island could become a reality in as little as ten years. But financing has proven to be an ongoing challenge. The new energy system needs to be affordable for both the island’s electricity company and its residents. According to Chip Seibert, CEO of Kilowatt Labs, the project should be ready to sell in 10 years.
One option for generating electricity on the island is installing microturbines, which burn fuel to generate electricity. But solar proved to be cheaper and easier to install. The new energy system includes a 300-kilowatt solar array and 900 panels. The entire system is expected to be installed this summer. The island’s population doubles during the summer, and it isn’t sustainable to use the backup diesel generator.
While many islands are surrounded by coal-fired power plants, Samso’s residents didn’t necessarily buy into the renewable energy project at first. However, with the help of Ole Johnsson, the Samso mayor entered a national competition and was crowned a renewable energy island. As a result, the Danish government invested nearly $90 million in the island over a decade. Local matching funds were required to keep the project moving forward.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.