Entergy Louisiana wins approval for 980-MW St. Charles plant

Entergy Louisiana LLC on Nov. 17 was approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission to build a new natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in St. Charles Parish.

The Louisiana PSC vote clears the way for Entergy Louisiana to move forward with construction on the 980-MW project in Montz, approximately 30 miles from New Orleans. Scheduled to be in service by June 2019, the plant will cost approximately $869 million to build, including transmission and other project-related costs.

“Entergy Louisiana’s investment in the St. Charles Power Station will power the lives of Louisiana residents for generations to come,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, in a Nov. 17 statement. “We appreciate the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s comprehensive review and decision on our proposal to build this much-needed plant. It will provide southeast Louisiana with a reliable source of clean, affordable energy to meet customer demand and help drive economic growth. Building the plant in the southeast Louisiana region will help maintain reliability of the electric grid and facilitate restoration of the grid following major storm events affecting the transmission system.”

The plant’s construction phase will generate on average an estimated 2,000 direct and indirect jobs a year across the state, increase Louisiana business sales by $1.4 billion and grow household earnings by $476.8 million, according to an analysis by Louisiana economist Dr. Loren Scott. Entergy Louisiana will employ approximately 27 people to operate the plant.

Entergy Louisiana decided to build the unit after evaluating it against other options submitted through a 2014 request for proposals for power resources to supply southeast Louisiana. An independent monitor oversaw the procurement and selection process, which was conducted in consultation with LPSC staff.

Apart from Ninemile Point Unit 6, which was completed in December 2014, the average age of Entergy Louisiana’s existing fossil generation units in southeast Louisiana is more than 40 years.

Entergy Louisiana provides electric service to more than one million Louisiana customers. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR).

Notably, Entergy Louisiana applied Nov. 2 at the Louisiana commission for approval of the Lake Charles Power Station (LCPS), a nominal 994-MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Westlake, Louisiana. It is asking for certication that the public convenience and necessity would be served by construction and deployment of LCPS.

Entergy Louisiana said it has a substantial overall long-term need for base load and core load-following generation capacity. This need persists notwithstanding the completion of the Ninemile 6 CCGT facility, the acquisition of the gas-fired Union Power Station Power Blocks 3 and 4, and the anticipated construction of the just-approved St. Charles Power Station. Without the future capacity additions reflected in its supply plan, the company would have a projected capacity decit of over 2,400 MW in 2020.

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.