Praising Entergy Louisiana’s $869 million St. Charles Power Station as the needed next step for economic growth, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the project is helping secure the state’s future.
“Over time, we must face this reality: If we truly want to grow our economy, if we truly want to provide better jobs and workplaces and centers of education and training for our people, we will need more energy,” Edwards said at Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony in Montz.
When it’s completed in 2019, the power station is expected to produce nearly 1,000 megawatts of electricity mainly for Southeast Louisiana, which Edwards added will enable “this region and our state to grow into the highest performing economy we can be.” The governor outlined a service area ranging from Baton Rouge to Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish, as well as surrounding residences and businesses.
Edwards said Louisiana has attracted $135 billion in new capital investments since 2012. Of that total, $65 billion of these projects are in construction or permitting phases.Upgrading the energy supply is key to what’s needed to continue this growth, he said.
“Today’s groundbreaking for the St. Charles Power Station is about securing our future,” the governor added.
Edwards also announced Entergy selected CB&I as the project’s construction contractor, which employs 7,000 Louisiana residents. The power station will create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
Parish President Larry Cochran said the project strengthens Entergy’s commitment to the parish, which will add another 31 full-time jobs. The company already employs 800 people in St. Charles Parish.
“When Entergy informed St. Charles Parish of their plans to expand Little Gypsy complex, we were thrilled and dedicated to this project,” Cochran said.
Leo Deanault, Entergy chairman and CEO, said the power station “will also provide a cleaner, lower cost and more dependable source of electricity for decades to come. It will save our customers more than $1.3 billion over its 30-year life. It will emit 40 percent less carbon than the older generation that it supplants.”
By investing in nuclear infrastructure, and new and efficient gas-fired capacity, Entergy can replace older, less efficient gas and coal resources.
Deanault added, “And by taking our first step into innovative technologies in the distribution system through the deployment of automated metering infrastructure, we open the door to more innovation that will make our service more dependable, more affordable, and importantly, allow our customers to manage their usage to lower their bills.”
Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO, said Entergy’s partnership with CB&I will build “one of the most efficient and cleanest fossil plants in our fleet.”May added the need for new generating capacity is particularly strong in this part of Louisiana.
“Because of this region’s geography, we are electrically in a peninsula that extends east of Baton Rouge to the Mississippi state line and south to the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “It’s a region we call Amite South.”
Excluding Ninemile 6 brought online in 2014, the average Entergy generating unit in this area is more than four decades old, he said. St. Charles Power Station will allow Entergy to cut back use on these older, less efficient and costly generation sources.