$869 million power station is nearly complete

Entergy
Workers installing instrument tubing at the St. Charles Power Station in Montz.

Backdropped by a deep blue sky in Montz, construction workers are more than 90 percent complete with Entergy’s $869 million St. Charles Power Station.

Towers where steam is cooled back to water to reuse toward producing more electricity are readily visible, marking the emerging station’s exterior. Electricity is made by boiling water with natural gas and using the steam to power turbines to generate it. The water is then cooled to again use to make electricity.

The project is on time and on budget, said Kevin Wright, Entergy’s senior manager of capital projects.

The station is projected to go into operation by June of next year, although Wright said testing will be done to ensure a smooth startup.

When it beings, Plant Manager Aaron Hill will operate the facility.

Hill said the 980-megawatt gas-fired unit is expected to be among one of the most efficient fossil plants and one of the cleanest in Entergy Louisiana’s generation fleet. It will generate enough electricity to power about 600,000 residences in Louisiana.

The St. Charles Power Station heat recovery steam generator and exhaust 195-foot high stack. The generator creates steam from combustion turbine heat, lending to the system efficiency.

“I’m excited about getting to see this plant built from scratch,” Hill said.

It’s an opportunity that many of the full-time employees who will man the plant are also experiencing, which Hill said benefits them all in operating the plant.

The station will provide 31 permanent jobs.

Hill said the plant will emit on average about 40 percent less carbon dioxide than older natural gas fired plants.

The savings will be passed on to customers, projected to be more than $1.3 billion during the station’s anticipated 30-year life.

Wright added Montz, which is also the location for the Waterford III facility, was logistically favorable to the expansion with an existing pipe system available.

“We’re extremely pleased to build the plant here,” he said.

“We’re extremely pleased to build the plant here.” – Kevin Wright, Entergy’s senior manager of capital projects.

Wright praised state and parish officials for being receptive to the project, especially in St. Charles Parish.

Entergy spokeswoman Lee Sabatini said the economic outlook for the plant includes $16.5 million in increased business sales, $10.5 million in new household earnings and $63 million in contracts to Louisiana contractors.

The station will be the most efficient fossil plant and one of the cleanest in Entergy Louisiana’s generation fleet.

At the plant groundbreaking in February of last year, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the plant will mostly power Southeast Louisiana, which will enable the region and state to boost the economy. The governor outlined a service area ranging from Baton Rouge to Port Fourche in Lafourche Parish, and Edwards projected the added power would keep the state’s momentum in capital investments.

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