Entergy will spend $9.8 billion over the next five years to improve reliability at its five southeastern utilities, and expanded its unregulated enterprises, an increase of $1.8 billion over its previous five-year plan.

The plan includes $4.2 billion for customer-service and reliability projects at its regulated electric and gas utilities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas; $3.9 billion for deregulated wholesale businesses, such as power trading; and $1.7 billion to acquire 5-8 nuclear plants.

The company plans to enhance its transmission capability, because only a small amount of electricity can enter or leave its system. In Mississippi, officials said the increased spending was overdue. “Entergy got too lean as far as personnel goes, and maintenance was something it tended to neglect. I believe it’s now moving in the right direction,” said Bo Robinson, chairman of the Public Service Commission.