Mississippi is about to become the home of a high tech center controlling the flow of electricity to parts of four states. The power company Entergy has chosen Jackson to be the site of one of two new transmission control centers.
Calling it the 'nerve center' of their multi-state electrical grid, company CEO Haley Fisackerly says the new facility will bring control of electrical infrastructure into the 21st century.
"Think of the transmission system as the arteries of any type of system that pumps the life blood of electricity into our economy. It is monitored right here at this center," Fisackerly said.
Currently the company has six antiquated transmission control sites.
They are consolidating down to just two new sites....one in Jackson and the other in Little Rock.
Rick Riley, vice president of transmission for Entergy, says the new center will allow them closely monitor and react to outages in ways that had previously required teams in the field.
"From that building we will monitor and control the transmission system.We will coordinate line outages so we can do construction and maintenance. And we will also remotely operate switches and breakers. So we are very excited to have this facility behind us," Riley said.
The 23-million dollar facility is expected to be completed in 2016 and employee up to 70 people.
The building is in Jackson far away from the coast to avoid the worst of hurricane season and will be hardened to withstand an EF 5 tornado.
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber says the company's decision to re-invest in Mississippi is a positive sign.
"It's big. It's big in terms of morale. It's big in terms of economic development. And finally it is big in terms of us being able to tell a story about a vital Jackson," Yarber said.
Entergy provides power for nearly 3-million costumers across Mississippi, Arkansas, Lousiana and Texas.