Entergy says it needs to provide more electric power to the growing DeSoto County area and a substation near the Getwell Road corridor of Southaven may be where that could happen.
“In fact, we have several new substations under construction or planned in DeSoto County, including two more in Lewisburg and Hernando,” said Entergy Customer Services Manager Robert Johnston recently.
A location is far from settled, but one possible spot for a substation could be the area of Tchulahoma Road and Windy Lane in Southaven on 10 acres of land. A new substation for Southaven has been something Entergy has been considering the past couple of years, thanks to demand and growth.
“We have to work with the Public Service Commission to make sure that we get the Certificate of Need that justifies the need,” said Entergy Director of Business and Economic Development Ed Gardner. “We have to locate the property and negotiate the purchase of property, and that in itself is difficult in a fast-growing area.”
Entergy would also have to obtain easements for distribution lines and if the Tchulahoma location is selected, those lines would need to be along streets, such as Central Parkway, Getwell Road, and others.
Entergy filed its petition to build the substation with the Mississippi Public Service Commission in late October. Docket 2021-UA-176 was filed on Oct. 29.
“DeSoto (County) is one of the fastest growing areas of the state and Entergy has invested a significant amount in the area to meet the county’s service reliability needs,” Johnston wrote in an email to DeSoto County News. “Our economic development department has been involved in numerous projects that have resulted in significant investment and job creation in the area.”
Gardner said the exploding growth of the area demands more power distribution.
“Over the last 10 years, DeSoto County has grown by 1.5-1.6 percent per year,” Gardens said. “In the last five years, between 2015-2020, the county grew nine percent, so you’re looking at almost two percent growth per year. There’s a lot of residential growth, but one of the drivers for the growth is the industrial distribution growth.”
Gardner mentioned projects such as the new Medline distribution center, Amazon, O’Reilly Auto Parts and the Associated Warehouse Grocers center in Hernando, which has all increased electric needs for the area.
Johnston cautioned the substation project is a continuing process and the facility going “on line” is still some months away. He added residents affected will know about it in formal notifications from Entergy.
“We are all in negotiations and nothing has been finalized but it could be late 2022 or early 2023 to actually bring it all online,” Johnston said. “There’s a formal process to notify customers about it, if rights-of-way will be taken, and for negotiations being made on land. Anybody affected by where the final location is will be notified.”
City officials say they are aware of Entergy looking at a new substation and has asked the utility to continue keeping the City abreast of the progress.