NEW ORLEANS, LA: Today, the New Orleans City Council and their legal and technical advisors began a “Show Cause” proceeding to address a long list of failures by Entergy New Orleans. A “Show Cause” is a regulatory tool used to force the Utility to prove that their decisions and expenditures were prudently spent. Among the list of failures Entergy will have to justify include the poor stakeholder process in Integrated Resource Planning, the oversizing of the newly proposed power plant in New Orleans East, lack of professionalism in the grid hardening and storm resilience reports, and failure to respond to Regulator requests for information in the gas rebuild docket. Commissioner and Council President Jason Williams said “I am deeply concerned,” and that the Show Cause proceeding was long overdue. Commissioner Guidry stated “I am seriously concerned about these issues and that Entergy is already negotiating contracts [regarding the new gas plant].” To that point, Commissioner Gray responded, “Some of this is very surprising. Entergy always knew that we [council] would go through a process with full participation.” Council advisors stated that “Stakeholders have brought up very serious issues.”
The Alliance thanked the Council for holding Entergy accountable for these numerous failures and requested a more thorough analysis of the City’s transmission and energy needs. “Reliability is too important to the city to leave a robust analysis unexamined,” said Casey DeMoss, CEO Alliance for Affordable Energy. “We ask the Council to open a docket to thoroughly analyze the city’s transmission island problem and possible solutions.” The Alliance raised the issue of sizing and siting of critical energy infrastructure. “Strengths and vulnerabilities of a variety of siting locations should be a chief concern as the new gas plant proposed by Entergy is at the former Michoud site. The area suffered extreme flooding after Hurricane Katrina and may not be safe for essential energy generation services. The Michoud plant came under fire recently after NASA and LSU released a research paper showing accelerated subsidence rates around the old Michoud plant site due to groundwater withdrawals by the power plant.