PB Entergy employees affected by 2015 closure to be offered transfer option

The 2015 closing of the Entergy system operations center on Barraque Street in Pine Bluff will eliminate 100 positions but the employees will be taken care of by the company, according to a spokesman.

“Over the course of the next two years we plan to offer transfer options within the company to those employees and we anticipate some of these positions to be reduced through attrition,” said Entergy Arkansas spokeswoman Diane Tatum.

Tatum said that the positions being lost at the Pine Bluff facility are high-paying but declined to provide a salary range when asked Thursday, citing company policy prohibiting the public release of information related to employee compensation.

“The positions at the system operations center include dispatch operators, engineers and account specialists who use their financial background to contract with other utilities to buy electricity when extra capacity is needed and to sell it when other areas are in need of extra power,” Tatum said.

Tatum said Wednesday that the closure is part of Entergy’s plan to consolidate six facilities currently scattered across four states into two centers to be located in Little Rock and Jackson, Miss.

Entergy’s energy delivery function headquarters is currently based in Jackson, according to the company website.

Tatum said that the 40 employee Entergy facility on 28th Avenue that houses distribution operations, customer service and some engineering will be unaffected by the consolidation.

“We determined that in order to increase the security and the integrity of the electrical grid, this step was necessary,” Tatum said Wednesday. “The new facilities that will be built in Little Rock and Jackson will be state-of-the-art and will enable us to greatly increase the efficiency and physical integrity of the electrical grid.”

In addition to the Pine Bluff systems operations center, five transmission operations centers in Beaumont, Texas; Gretna and West Monroe, La.; Jackson, Miss.; and Little Rock will be included in the 2015 consolidation.