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New Orleans S&WB to use Entergy instead of antiquated turbines to power city’s drainage system

Published: Jun. 16, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 9:50 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Mayor Cantrell, along with leaders from Entergy and the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, announced a new partnership Wednesday that promises to deliver reliable energy across the city’s drainage system.

Entergy will build a new dedicated substation and the City of New Orleans will find a frequency changer and integration system to convert the modern electricity to the old standard needed for the pumps.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell said the savings in generator fuel costs will cover the new infrastructure at no cost to residents.

She said the power upgrade, in addition to other ongoing work, continues to help the city be more resilient against flooding.

“By rebuilding our infrastructure, cleaning and maintaining our drainage canals, drain lines, doing proactive maintenance to keep these pumps working while we need them to and we are using science and data more innovatively. We’re putting floodwaters really in a safer area,” said Cantrell.

Planned upgrades to the turbine system will continue to provide redundant power in case of a weather related Entergy outage.

The upgrades are expected to be completed in time for Hurricane Season 2023.

Last week, the S&WB said its teams and its contractors have been working to stabilize the power generating redundancy.

Last month, Turbine 4 was brought back online, but on June 5, Turbine 4 tripped offline and could not be brought back on.

The SWBNO team diagnosed the issue as a problem with an electrical component of the machine and immediately contacted the appropriate vendor to make the repair.

Three electrical components need to be replaced.

“Because of the age of Turbine 4, we cannot source these parts off the shelf. Therefore, they must be custom made. The initial timeframe for the fabrication of these parts is approximately 8 weeks. We recognize that this timeframe takes us into the thick of Hurricane Season, which is why we are working with our contractor to investigate all possible options to expedite this process,” SWB said.

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