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NICHE | ENERGY TRANSMISSION

RECONDUCTORING IN NEW ORLEANS Construction timeline: July 2015–March 2016

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downtown, and the creation of a transmission construction plan where Entergy used special crews to work on energized lines just outside the Ninemile 6 Power Plant. All of this came in addition to the complications of working in a city that’s below sea level and has a complex drainage and flood protection system. Beyond just specialized crews, Entergy employed around 180 workers on the project. Adams says the key to organizing such a coordinated effort is engagement through early and frequent communication. No matter how large or small a team member’s role, he says, they have to feel and understand how critical they are to the project. “From my point of view, when all of the team members—regardless of their role—feel accountable and included, not only are we effective and fully engaged, the work we do is more fun,” he says. “It’s really magical to watch it all come together.”

Entergy increased wire capacity on about 12 miles of transmission line in and around downtown New Orleans.

Photo: Courtesy of Air2

AS PART OF ENTERGY NEW ORLEANS’ POWER TO GROW PLAN, Adams and his team recently increased the wire capacity on roughly 12 miles of transmission line through urban communities that surrounded and included downtown New Orleans. The project allowed more power to flow into the city from the company’s new Ninemile 6 Power Plant. For Adams, this was a bit trickier than a traditional transmission line upgrade. “The upgrade projects carried unprecedented reputational risk with our community,” he says. “They carried unprecedented occupational safety risk with a large amount of—as you can imagine—transmission line construction over energized distribution serving our customers. Then there were significant public safety risks of overhead construction on busy city streets.” The project required working along New Orleans’ levees at the Mississippi River, closing the interstate highway that runs through

American Builders Quarterly #63  
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