NEW ORLEANS - On Thursday, June 28, Utility, Cable, Telecommunications and Technology (UCTT) Committee Chair Helena Moreno will convene a special committee meeting to focus on the lack of progress - and answers - from Entergy New Orleans (ENO) on two key issues: reliability and renewables. Over the past several years, the New Orleans community through the City Council have asked ENO to make significant progress on remediating the unacceptable level of "clear skies" power outages and reliability issues; and on securing a substantial investment in clean, renewable power generation capabilities.
"The New Orleans community has asked repeatedly for substantial progress on both reliability and renewable deployment for years now - with limited or unsatisfactory responses from ENO," said Chair Moreno. "We need action now. Before ENO gets what it wants, our community must get what we want."
The reliability issues have worsened over the years, culminating in a July 2017 letter through which the Council requested a specific remediation plan. ENO's subsequent response in the fall of 2017 did not provide any clear answers on a path forward and led to the opening of a "show cause" docket, creating a more specific requirement for production by ENO on a clear timeline. ENO asked for and received an extension for more time to respond to the docket.
"Information we've received clearly shows about half the outages are caused by equipment failure," Moreno continued. "Where is the urgency by Entergy New Orleans to remedy this situation? We can't allow for the people of New Orleans to be left with sub-par services due to neglect just like they already have been by Sewerage and Water Board."
The renewables saga has sustained over the past two-plus years. ENO issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewables in 2016, but to this day, only a small portion of the promised 100MW - up to 10 percent of the total energy demand in New Orleans - has been produced. Again, the Council was forced to open another "show cause" docket to apply a stricter process for ENO in order to hold the company accountable. ENO has until July 31, 2018, to produce projects that accumulate to the 100MW. ENO is to provide a status report prior to that deadline, which is now just one month away.
During the previous committee meeting, Chair Moreno delayed approval of the company's financing plan until it provided more details on reliability and renewables. The financing plan will also be considered during Thursday's meeting following the completion of the remaining agenda items.
The UCTT Committee meeting will be held immediately following tomorrow's Transportation Committee meeting, which begins at 10 a.m. in the City Council Chambers. Click here to view the meeting agenda.