Press Releases

City, Sewerage and Water Board Provide Update on Funding for Power System Upgrades

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 24 2021

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other City officials today reviewed the power plan presented by Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Executive Director Ghassan Korban during the monthly Board of Directors meeting. The presentation was part of the continued collaboration between the City and the SWBNO to ensure that residents remain as safe as possible with the infrastructure in place and with the improvements to come.

"From day one, this Administration recognized the increasing vulnerability of the Sewerage and Water Board power generation system and got to work on identifying funds to support efficiency upgrades,” said Mayor Cantrell. “To that end, the City pushed for and received approximately $20 million in state capital outlay funds to begin construction on the new power complex at the Carrollton Water Plant which is now under way. There may be an opportunity in the next legislative session to access an additional $34 million of committed resources available for work at the power complex.

"We remain firm in our commitment to ensure SWBNO power reliability for the City of New Orleans,” Mayor Cantrell added.

“The City has invested approximately $14 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds to purchase the first of three static frequency changers necessary to operate the new power complex in conjunction with existing drainage and water pumps,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure. “Also, approximately $1 million in Fair Share funds has been allocated for winterizing Turbine 6, which will enable use in weather below 42 degrees Fahrenheit. That work is also well under way and anticipated to be complete ahead of this hurricane season.

"Additionally, thanks to the Fair Share agreement and the State of Louisiana, another $13 million in federal HUD Community Development Block Grant funds is being used to construct and install Turbine 7, providing SWBNO with additional power generation capabilities," Deputy CAO Green added.

“We recognize that our current power supply makes us extremely vulnerable regarding the amount of power we need to operate our drinking water, wastewater treatment and drainage systems. As it stands now, Turbine 1 and our five electromotive diesel generators (EMDs) are our frontline power supply. These pieces of equipment were previously used in a backup capacity. This is especially concerning as we look toward the rainy season. While the situation looks bleak now, thanks to investments from Mayor Cantrell and the City of New Orleans, our future is bright,” said Ghassan Korban, Executive Director, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. “Turbine 4 will be back online in early May 2021 and Turbine 5 will be back in June 2021. Entergy remains a steadfast partner in working with us to bring a dedicated Entergy substation to our Carrollton Water Plant. And we will commission a new turbine, “T7,” by early 2023. Thanks to our Mayor’s vision and commitment, we are working together to create the utility future generations deserve.”

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