An Entergy (NYSE:ETR) company said Dec. 26 that it has commissioned the 560-MW Ninemile 6 combined-cycle gas turbine unit in Westwego, La.
The natural gas project marks the first time in almost 30 years that Entergy Louisiana added a new power plant to its fleet.
The facility, which was authorized by the Louisiana Public Service Commission almost three years ago, is part of the company’s long-term plan to modernize its fleet, while helping to meet Louisiana’s surging energy needs. Nine Mile 6 is located across the river from New Orleans.
“Our rapidly growing economy is bringing thousands of new jobs and residents to our state, which is driving a large demand for energy,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. “Adding Ninemile 6 to our portfolio gives us an opportunity to meet that new need, while satisfying our customers’ expectations of safe, reliable and affordable energy.”
Entergy Louisiana has said in filings with the state PSC that the utility could need up to 4,600 MW of new capacity by 2031.
Built over the course of three years, the Entergy Louisiana-owned plant was completed ahead of schedule, Entergy said. Earlier projects for the plant had suggested that it would be online in early 2015.
While the final cost of the plant is still being determined, the estimated cost of approximately $655m is substantially below its original budget of $721m. Although owned by Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans, will purchase 25% and 20%, respectively, of the new unit’s output.
Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI) was a primary contractor on the project.
Ninemile 6 will replace Ninemile units 1 and 2, which came online in the early 1950s and have been deactivated, according to an Entergy website.