Entergy Mississippi’s Ridgeland Substation Gets State-of-the-Art, Animal-Proof Fence
New design will significantly decrease animal-related outages for Ridgeland customers
Ridgeland, Miss. –Entergy Mississippi, Inc. fired back today in the war to stop power outages caused by ground-traveling critters.
A Ridgeland substation belonging to the company has been newly outfitted with a state-of-the-art, animal-proof fence designed to virtually eliminate power outages caused by squirrels, raccoons, possums and other furry creatures.
Last June, a squirrel caused a major outage at the Ridgeland substation during rush hour in Ridgeland. More than 3,500 residential and business customers were without power and traffic lights were out along some of the city’s busiest arteries. The damage affected two main breakers and several feeder breakers. Entergy crews worked for more than 2-1/2 hours to restore power.
Today this same substation is surrounded by a new fence topped with angled shielding to prevent animals from climbing over. In addition, the fence’s 3/8-inch wire mesh is fine enough to keep even snakes from crawling through. And just in time, too—historically, September is the highest month for squirrel-related substation outages.
“This new fencing will definitely make a substantial improvement in reducing certain animal-related outages, including outages from squirrels,” said Charles Bryan, customer service manager for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. in Ridgeland. “We already have an animal mitigation design in place that helps prevent problems caused by birds.”
“We’re confident that the new fence will result in improved reliability for the thousands of customers served by the Ridgeland substation.”
Entergy Mississippi discovered the Vanquish Fencing system while researching animal-mitigation strategies used by other utilities, including Duke Energy, where the technology has achieved an impressive track record for reducing animal-related outages.
The upgrade to the Ridgeland substation cost approximately $125,000 to install.
“The new fence costs more than a standard fence, but we see it as a practical investment that will benefit our Ridgeland customers by improving service reliability and decreasing the likelihood of animal-related outages,” Bryan said.
Entergy Mississippi typically installs animal-mitigation technology in all of its distribution substations. In addition to animal guards around the perimeter, the interior of the Ridgeland substation is protected by special devices designed to keep animals from crawling on equipment.
Entergy Mississippi erected a similar fence in Vicksburg earlier this year and is considering installing the fencing system in other areas where traditional animal mitigation methods have not been effective. Substations will be evaluated based on their vulnerability to animal-related outages and performance history.
Each year Entergy Mississippi tackles hundreds of service reliability projects throughout its 45-county service area as part of its successful Ennovations effort begun in 2007. The initiative combines decades of industry experience, new technologies and extensive planning to make the company’s electrical service even more reliable.
In 2009 Entergy Mississippi invested some $59 million on projects determined to have the greatest impact. This year the company will spend more than $90 million on distribution and transmission reliability projects.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 435,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
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