Entergy Louisiana’s new road map for addressing future needs does not examine transmission options or explore the potential impact of more stringent environmental standards, among other key issues, Public Service Commission members and staff say.
Staff nonetheless concluded Entergy’s “integrated resource plan,” or IRP, complies with the PSC’s order, though two commissioners who represent parts of the Capital Region say the IRP falls short of what’s needed.
“These are real questions that matter to the future that they didn’t answer,” Commissioner Davante Lewis says. “How can I take you seriously when you’re not even demonstrating, ‘This is where I want to go’?”
Lewis compares the IRP to a school essay in progress. It’s not the final paper to be graded, as the PSC must individually approve proposals to build new transmission or retire a power plant. Rather, it’s more like a rough draft that helps commissioners understand how Entergy would propose addressing potential issues.
“While the IRP process does take time and involves a lot of discussion and viewpoints, it is important to note that the report referenced confirms Entergy Louisiana has met the standards and rules of its regulator,” the utility says in a prepared statement. “Ultimately, the Commission has the final say as it relates to the company’s IRP, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and all stakeholders as we work to plan a diverse, sustainable, affordable and reliable mix of resources to power Louisiana’s future.”
The IRP rules are meant to ensure utilities analyze all options for reliable, affordable service, but Entergy’s “incomplete” plan fails to address how transmission could enhance Louisiana’s resource options, nor does it contemplate how to fund and bring online renewable projects Entergy says it wants to build, Commissioner Craig Greene says by email.
“Entergy’s only strategy is to put all costs on the backs of their customers,” Greene says. “You wouldn’t trust a map that doesn’t include roads, bridges, and bodies of water, but in effect, that is what Entergy is asking the Commission to do.”
Lewis says he isn’t sure yet whether Entergy’s IRP technically satisfies the rules but believes the rules should be stricter.