Entergy Louisiana wants to add about 224 megawatts of solar power resources to its generation mix, most of which would be produced in Iberville Parish.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission would have to approve the plan, which could boost the utility’s mix of renewable power and potentially make the state more attractive to large businesses seeking renewable energy.
The project would help Entergy and its customers reach their sustainability goals, President and CEO Phillip May says, adding that the utility was looking forward “to further expanding our portfolio of renewables as demanded by our stakeholders.”
“This is encouraging,” says Commissioner Davante Lewis, who represents parts of the Capital Region on the PSC. “The question is, are they pushing hard enough and fast enough?”
Lewis, the PSC’s newest member, upset three-term incumbent Lambert Boissiere in the December runoff election. His campaign focused largely on increasing Louisiana’s use of electricity produced from renewable sources.
“Large energy users need access to renewable power and are starting or expanding operations in states that can meet that demand,” Commissioner Craig Greene, who also represents parts of the Capital Region, says by email. “Commercial and industrial customers’ needs for renewable generation is vast and Louisiana businesses are best served by a system that ensures competitive pricing and innovative products.”
Entergy is proposing a 20-year purchase power agreement with Coastal Prairie Solar, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, for about 175 megawatts produced by its solar facility to be built in Iberville Parish. Entergy Louisiana also would build and operate what would become the Sterlington Solar Facility in Ouachita Parish, which would account for about 49 megawatts.
Entergy says it currently has about 280 megawatts of renewable resources, including the Capital Region Solar facility, which began delivering power to the grid in October 2020.
If approved, construction could begin in 2024 on the Iberville facility, which could be fully operational in late 2025, followed by the Sterlington facility which could be delivering power by early 2026.