Entergy plans Louisiana power line as part of major regional expansion

Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC on Jan. 8 announced today plans for a major transmission project in southwest Louisiana called the Lake Charles Transmission Project.

Preliminary plans call for an estimated $187m (including contingency) investment in the Lake Charles area. The project represents one of the largest single transmission projects in Entergy’s history. It includes construction of two new substations, expansion of a third, and adding about 25 total miles of high-voltage transmission lines – including both 500 kV and 230 kV lines – to move power more reliably and efficiently into a region projected to have the fastest job growth rate in the state.

“Projects like this, as well as the proposed Union Power Station acquisition announced last year and the Ninemile 6 power plant unit which just came online early and under budget, help ensure we have highly reliable and affordable electricity for our existing customers as well as new customers moving to our region. Nearly 500 megawatts of new load have already signed up for facilities in the Lake Charles area and the potential exists for another 500 megawatts that are in various stages of exploration by new or existing customers in that part of the state,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy Louisiana LLC.

In addition to enhancing reliability, operational flexibility, and helping meet the increased demand in the region, the project will also improve access to lower cost generation in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator market, potentially reducing costs for all customers in the area.

Low electricity prices are one reason that more than 85 projects, representing over $65bn of investment, have been announced, signed or are under development in Entergy’s four-state service area. This industrial expansion is projected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and the potential addition of approximately 1,700 MW of new industrial load across the four-state region.

Entergy projects investing approximately $2bn in its four states over the next three years in transmission capital projects related to reliability and economic development, representing a nearly 60% increase in transmission capital spending over the previous three years.

Entergy Gulf States Louisiana will seek Louisiana Public Service Commission approval of the Lake Charles project, which was authorized by Entergy’s board of directors in December 2014. Current plans have major construction activities beginning in 2016, with a proposed in-service date in 2018.

Entergy’s Louisiana utility companies provide electric service to more than one million customers through the operating companies Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.