October 05, 2009
For Immediate Release
Renee Powers
Entergy Texas
Thief Forces Entergy Texas Customers to Endure Power Outage;

Customers Urged to Report Suspicious Activities Around Electrical Facilities

Conroe, Texas – In a move that was both illegal and very dangerous, a thief on Oct. 1 stole copper wiring from a substation in a rural area off Interstate 45 north of Houston.
In addition to endangering his own life, the thief also put the public and Entergy Texas, Inc. employees at risk while forcing more than 2,700 residents in the area to endure a power outage that was necessary to make repairs safely.

Entergy Texas officials are reminding their customers to report suspicious activities around electrical facilities by calling local law enforcement. Anyone with information about a past theft may call the local CrimeStoppers. Entergy Texas works with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute theft from its facilities.

“Only carefully-trained, safety conscious Entergy Texas employees have business in our substations,” said Renee Powers, customer service manager for Conroe. “The substation targeted by a thief has as much as 138,000 volts of electricity coming into it, many thousands of times more voltage than can cause death. It only takes a one-second contact with 12 volts at a low current to create a serious heartbeat irregularity. Imagine what 138,000 volts could do.”

The theft was discovered during an early substation inspection. The inspector notified the appropriate officials, and Entergy Texas workers immediately took action to secure the area and begin the task of planning for and completing repairs.

“As always, the safety of our employees and the public is our chief concern,” said Shawn Corkran, transmission and substation grid manager. “A substation employee was posted at the site to prevent anyone from entering until repairs could be made.”

Once properly trained crews were assembled and a plan in place, the actual repair was made in about one hour. The power outage was part of de-energizing the substation which was necessary to ensure repairs were made safely.

Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees.