Entergy Louisiana: Lake Charles project about 12% complete through May 31

Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Louisiana, in its July 6 semi-annual monitoring report filed with the Louisiana Public Service Commission, said that the total Lake Charles Transmission Project is about 12% complete through May 31.

Construction is 3% complete, which is in line with the projected status of 2% complete, the company said, adding that right of way (ROW) acquisition is 71% complete, which is ahead of the projected status of 50% complete, and it is tracking to be complete ahead of schedule.

As TransmissionHub reported, Entergy officially kicked off the project with a wire-cutting ceremony in March.

Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault also said in April that once completed, that $159m project will support continued reliability and service to a rapidly growing area in the company’s service territory.

As noted on the company’s website, the project, located in the Lake Charles area of southwest Louisiana, involves the construction of the new Rhodes 500-kV switching station, east of the Nelson generating station; construction of about seven miles of new 500-kV line from the Rhodes switching station, south to a new Patton 500-kV bulk substation; installation of a new 500-230-kV, 1,200 MVA autotransformer at the bulk substation; and construction of about four miles of new 230-kV transmission line from the Patton substation to the existing Carlyss 230-kV substation.

The project, which is expected to be placed in service by the summer of 2018, also includes the construction of about 12 miles of new 230-kV transmission line from the Carlyss substation to the Solac substation, the company said.

In its July 6 filing, the company discussed the status of the construction schedule for each component of the portfolio of transmission projects that comprise the Lake Charles project.

Of the Nelson to Hartburg 500-kV transmission line, the company said that that component consists of a 500-foot extension of the existing Nelson to Hartburg 500-kV line (L-520) to cut in and out of the new Rhodes switchyard. The Nelson to Rhodes 500-kV cut-in work schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by February 2018, which will align with the other project components, the company said.

“Completion of this work by February 2018 will still support a project in-service date of June 2018,” the company said.

The Hartburg to Rhodes 500-kV cut-in work schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by February 2018, the company added.

Of the Rhodes component, the company noted that it consists of building a new 500-kV three-breaker switchyard at the point of connection to the existing Nelson to Hartburg 500-kV line. That new “Rhodes” switchyard will connect to lines from the Nelson substation, Hartburg substation and the new Patton substation to the south. The company added that it will also build a new seven-mile, 500-kV transmission line from Rhodes to the Patton substation.

The Rhodes 500-kV switchyard schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by February 2018, the company said.

The Rhodes to Patton 500-kV line schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by March 2018, the company said. The as-filed spring 2017 construction start date assumed that ROW acquisition and necessary permitting activities would be completed by July 2017, the company said, adding that if those activities are completed ahead of schedule, then it may be possible to begin construction earlier. At this time, ROW acquisition is ahead of schedule, Entergy Louisiana said.

Of the Patton component, the company noted that it consists of building a new 500/2300-kV substation to be named “Patton,” which will be accessible to existing 230-kV, 138-kV and 69-kV lines in the area. The company said it will also build a new four-mile, 230-kV transmission line from the Patton substation to the Carlyss substation.

The Patton 500-kV substation schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by March 2018, the company said, adding that ROW acquisition for that substation is complete.

The Patton to Carlyss 230-kV line schedule was modified based on outage and construction constraints, and there are no delays at this time hindering on-time completion by March 2018, the company said, noting that ROW acquisition is ahead of schedule.

The company also noted that the Carlyss and Solac substations component of the project consists of expanding the existing Carlyss 230-kV substation to a breaker-and-a-half arrangement, and other upgrades to accommodate the Patton to Carlyss and Carlyss to Solac 230-kV transmission lines. The component also consists of upgrades at the existing Solac 230-kV substation that will accommodate the Carlyss to Solac 230-kV line.

Since work on the Carlyss substation was on property that was already owned by Entergy Louisiana, no ROW acquisition was required, and that allowed the company to take advantage of early outage opportunities and contractor availability, the company said. That resulted in an improved projected completion date of May 2017, the company said.

Similarly, since work on the Solac substation was on property that was already owned by Entergy Louisiana, and no ROW acquisition was required, that resulted in an improved projected completion date of March 2017, the company said.

Of the Carlyss to Solac 230-kV line component, the company said that it consists of installing about 12 miles of 230-kV transmission line from the Carlyss substation to the Solac substation. ROW acquisition is ahead of schedule, the company said, adding that it was able to begin some line work that was on Entergy Louisiana ROW and not in jurisdictional wetlands ahead of schedule.

Discussing permitting, the company noted that since the Rhodes switchyard is situated in wetlands, the project will require a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 Permit, and at this time, the USACE has issued a jurisdictional determination in concurrence with Entergy Louisiana’s delineation of wetlands, and is considering the application. The company said that it has a target date of October to obtain the Section 404 permit.

The Rhodes to Patton 500-kV line also crosses wetlands and therefore requires a Section 404 permit, the company said. The permit for that line will be on a USACE Section 404 Permit with the other two new lines – the Patton to Carlyss 230-kV line and the Carlyss to Solac 230-kV line (referred to as the LCTP Transmission Lines Section 404 Permit).

The LCTP Transmission Lines Section 404 Permit is being revised, and will be resubmitted to the USACE this month, the company said, adding that it has a target date of February 2017 to obtain the permit.

Among other things, the company also noted that since the Patton substation site resides in wetlands, the substation will require a Section 404 permit. The company said that it has a target date of October to obtain that permit.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3267 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.