JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - To keep the power flowing, Entergy Mississippi has installed dozens of new devices throughout its service area in places that have experienced multiple outages.
The devices are called reclosers and they are basically circuit breakers that temporarily open a line when momentary problems occur, such as a tree limb falling on a line or an animal getting into equipment. This “sectionalizing” of the power grid does three things:
- Helps prevent additional damage to equipment,
- Reduces the frequency and length of outages and
- Reduces the number of customers affected.
“A recloser is a lot like a circuit breaker in your house,” said Robbin Jeter, Entergy Mississippi vice president of distribution operations. “When a breaker overloads or short circuits, it cuts off electrical current to the problem line until the issue can be safely addressed. If a limb or animal brushes the line, the power comes back on automatically when that line is cleared.”
If there is a brief problem on the electrical system and it can correct itself, customers may only experience a momentary blink. However, while the reclosers can prevent or reduce some outages, they cannot restore power in the event of major damage, such as when a tree falls on a line or a car hits a utility pole.
To determine where to install the reclosers, engineers looked at every circuit in every network in Entergy Mississippi’s service area. The company ultimately installed 69 reclosers in its networks in:
Central Mississippi: Jackson, Madison, Rankin, mid-state Mississippi
North: Cleveland, Elliot, Greenville, Grenada, Rolling Fork, Southaven
South: Brookhaven, Clinton, Natchez and Vicksburg.
Jeter said the project is well worth it.
“Our goal is to provide customers with safe, reliable and affordable power,” he said. “This is why we are always working to make our electrical grid stronger and more resilient.”
Entergy Mississippi provides electricity to approximately 450,000 customers in 45 counties.