By Bonnie Culverhouse
Officials from Entergy, AEP/SWEPCO and City of Minden have settled on a strategy for addressing the extensive damage at the Gilark substation due to a fire early Sunday. The agreed-upon plan involves implementing a controlled power outage across the entire city beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday, August 3. The outage is anticipated to last between 4 to 6 hours.
Minden Mayor Nick Cox said the purpose of this controlled outage is to bypass the damaged section of the substation and then restore power to the City of Minden. By doing so, the necessary repairs can be carried out, allowing for safe and non-urgent repairs to be conducted on the substation.
“They (Entergy) have been working on this …” Cox said during an interview with KASO Radio’s Mark Chreene. “They started with a 24-hour repair, and they got it down to a more reasonable amount of time that I think is sustainable.”
Cox said as Entergy works, they will be “backed up” by City of Minden workers.
“They are going to bypass all the damaged stuff,” Cox said. “That’ll take some time because they’ve got to set up poles, run wires and a jumper. When they get it all charged back up then the city will have power again.”
However, it will be a temporary fix.
“It will allow Entergy to go in there and work on it in a more lasting way,” said the mayor. “It won’t be as critical for the citizens, and they can get in there, get it done right and not feel as rushed.”
Cox pointed out this is something that historically does not happen often.
“We’ve known it was coming, and been able to prepare for it. The plan is a temporary bypass, and at a later date, we will have another brief outage while they make it permanent,” he said. “We won’t be in a critical situation or feel any urgency to get the temporary bypass undone.”
Gilark substation is Minden’s only tie to the power grid. The mayor said, “115,000 volts … that needs to be done right. That’s why the bypass is going to take 4 to 6 hours.”
Please note that this planned outage is essential for ensuring the long-term stability and functionality of the substation.