New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., is a city known for its food, history and culture. The streets of New Orleans are home to Mardi Gras parades, streetcar tracks, seafood restaurants and shotgun houses. Lining some of these streets is Entergy New Orleans’ transmission infrastructure. The steel poles and wires have existed in place for decades and faded into the background of the busy urban environment. This is the way most transmission infrastructure exists in a busy city — until the poles need to be repaired or upgraded. It is then these 100-ft (30.5-m) poles and miles of wires become apparent and enter the forefront of everyone’s mind.

In 2014, Entergy decided to decommission its Michoud power station in New Orleans. The 875-MW generating station had been providing peak power throughout the city of New Orleans for more than half a century. In order to retire the generation station, Entergy needed to bring power into the city from other locations. A US$30 million project to upgrade two transmission lines fed from Entergy’s Ninemile generating plant was initiated.

The extensive project would upgrade 12 miles (19.3 km) of 230-kV transmission lines, enabling full delivery of lower-cost power from Entergy’s efficient Ninemile power plant. The 230-kV Ninemile-Derbigny and Ninemile-Napoleon transmission lines to be upgraded were built in the 1960s. The lines exit the Ninemile generating plant, cross over the Mississippi River and traverse through the congested city streets of New Orleans.