Regulators raise concerns about Entergy line sell-off - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Regulators raise concerns about Entergy transmission line sell-off

The Public Service Commission is moving closer to a vote on whether Entergy should be allowed to sell off nearly 16,000 miles of transmission lines.

The move comes as regulators express concern about losing control, just six weeks after massive outages caused by Hurricane Isaac.

Hurricane Isaac caused transmission and distribution line damage, which resulted in 900,000 Entergy customers losing power statewide, some for up to 10 days.

The Public Service Commission has launched an investigation just as it considers a proposal to allow Entergy Louisiana to sell off nearly 16,000 miles of transmission lines, some of which feed into Entergy New Orleans.

As head of the New Orleans City Council's utilities committee, Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell gets a vote on the $1.8 billion plan to sell the lines to a Michigan-based company called ITC Holdings.  It could be the last regulatory vote the council ever takes regarding transmission lines.

"We will be part of a group that goes from Louisiana to Canada. We will be involved with states that have a very different situation than we do."said Hedge-Morrell.

ITC is the nation's largest independent power provider.

"If the sale goes through, watchdog groups say New Orleanians could wind up paying for transmission line improvements in other parts of the state, with the city receiving little or no benefit," warned Hedge-Morrell.

It all depends on the timing of a separate proposal to establish a program, called MISO, that will establish a new power grid. 

"If that program moves forward first, then New Orleans will still have the ability to set the rates for transmission.  But if transmission moves forward first, the feds will set those rates and they will be more expensive," says Casey Roberts with the Alliance for Affordable Energy.

Roberts says a sell-off has merit, though, in part because of ITC's expertise in the transmission line business.  But the alliance urges regulators to keep ratepayers in mind as they consider the deal.

Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice says the sell-off will help Entergy make the kind of investments it needs to build and maintain a reliable, and cost-efficient electric system. 

If the transmission line sell-off goes through, ITC says it will absorb nearly 750 Entergy employees.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Surprising cause of death in teen boating accident creates 'Raven's Rule'

    Surprising cause of death in teen boating accident creates 'Raven's Rule'

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 3:34 PM EDT2017-05-24 19:34:33 GMT

    16-year-old Raven Little-White died in August, after a boating accident on Lake Waccamaw. The medical examiner’s report lists “drowning” as the probable cause of death, but a toxicology report that came back later revealed Raven had actually succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

    more>>

    16-year-old Raven Little-White died in August, after a boating accident on Lake Waccamaw. The medical examiner’s report lists “drowning” as the probable cause of death, but a toxicology report that came back later revealed Raven had actually succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

    more>>
  • 'Monster' bull frog caught in STX fishing pond

    'Monster' bull frog caught in STX fishing pond

    Friday, May 26 2017 1:36 PM EDT2017-05-26 17:36:22 GMT

    Check out this big guy!  This 'monster' bull frog was caught in a South Texas fishing pond near Batesville by Markcuz Rangel.  

    more>>

    Check out this big guy!  This 'monster' bull frog was caught in a South Texas fishing pond near Batesville by Markcuz Rangel.  

    more>>
  • Parents of Gage Meche suing man they blame for gun being brought to school

    Parents of Gage Meche suing man they blame for gun being brought to school

    Friday, May 26 2017 10:18 PM EDT2017-05-27 02:18:02 GMT
    Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)

    Gage Meche has thousands of people rooting for him and a family spokesman says it means a lot.  But attorney Ron Richard says the child's parents want action against the man they believe is responsible, they're suing Michael Lane Dugas.. “They are on a roller coaster of emotions:  anger, sadness, fear, angst and wanting to feel like they're doing something about this matter. 

    more>>

    Gage Meche has thousands of people rooting for him and a family spokesman says it means a lot.  But attorney Ron Richard says the child's parents want action against the man they believe is responsible, they're suing Michael Lane Dugas.. “They are on a roller coaster of emotions:  anger, sadness, fear, angst and wanting to feel like they're doing something about this matter. 

    more>>
Powered by Frankly