The Louisiana Public Service Commission voted today to approve construction of the Lake Charles Power Station, a 994-megawatt combined-cycle power plant in Westlake. The natural gas-fired plant is a key element of Entergy Louisiana’s plan to provide the clean, efficient energy needed to power economic growth and bring even more savings to its customers.
Entergy Louisiana expects to issue full notice to proceed to construction by Aug. 1. The plant, which is scheduled to be in service by June 2020, will cost approximately $872 million to build including transmission and other project-related costs and contingency.
“The Lake Charles Power Station will supply the energy we need to help the communities and customers we serve prosper. This plant will not only provide needed generating capacity for the fast-growing region, but it’s another step in our ongoing effort to upgrade Entergy Louisiana’s plants so they operate more efficiently, affordably and with fewer emissions,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana.
“The vote to approve the project was a clear sign the commission recognized both the need for this plant and the tremendous benefits it will provide our customers,” May said.
Because of the plant’s high efficiency, projections are that customers will save between $1.3 billion and $2 billion over the anticipated 30-year life of the plant. Customer savings are expected to exceed the project’s construction cost in less than 10 years.
Building the combined-cycle unit will:
- Lower costs by reducing dependence on aging, less-efficient resources
- Improve reliability by locating the plant in the highly industrialized area
- Avoid some $600 million of transmission projects that would otherwise be needed to maintain reliability in the Lake Charles region
“This project will not only help customers’ budgets in the long run, but it will reduce our environmental footprint as well. Compared to our older natural gas-fired plants, combined-cycle units like the Lake Charles Power Station will, on average, cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40 percent,” May said.
The impact of the project on the state’s economy will be significant. According to an analysis by Louisiana economist Dr. Loren Scott, the plant’s construction phase will:
- Generate on average an estimated 1,200 direct and indirect jobs a year across the state
- Increase Louisiana business sales by more than $1.2 billion
- Grow household earnings by an estimated $420 million
The plant will employ approximately 30 people once complete.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to more than 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.