Robottom: Entergy commits to region through job creation

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MONTZ — Entergy Louisiana customers moved a step closer to saving millions in fuel costs and helping the environment with a recent ceremony formally kicking off construction of the St. Charles Power Station.

More than 100 people, including Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state and local officials, joined Entergy executives and employees at the groundbreaking for the combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant. The plant’s estimated cost is $869 million, including transmission and other project-related costs.

It is expected to enter commercial operation by June 2019.

The plant will be one of the cleanest and most efficient fossil units in the Entergy Louisiana generation fleet, officials said. Customers are projected to save more than $1.3 billion over the anticipated 30-year life of the plant.

Compared to Entergy’s older gas-fired plants, combined-cycle units like the St. Charles Power Station will on average cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40 percent.

“Our economy and our way of life in Louisiana rely upon dependable, affordable electricity,” Edwards said. “Not only is Entergy one of our most important corporate employers, with headquarters in New Orleans, Entergy supplies more power to customers in the state of Louisiana than anyone. After a long, constructive process with our Public Service Commission, Entergy Louisiana is moving forward with this highly efficient power plant project that will benefit customers across the state. We’re excited to support them in providing more power to our people, in a more efficient way than ever before.”

Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said the project would not be possible without the foresight of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the civic and community leaders of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes, and the support of many other groups and individuals.

“The construction phase of this plant will be an economic shot in the arm to this region and the rest of Louisiana,” May said.

St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom said Entergy continues to demonstrate its commitment to the region through investments and job creation.

“This state-of-the-art facility is environmentally friendly and will serve as an economic driver for our area.” She said.

The economic impact from the construction of the plant will be felt across the state, but the effect will be largest in St. Charles and St. John parishes, according to an analysis by Louisiana economist Dr. Loren Scott.

The two parishes will see $973 million in new business sales and $198 million in new household earnings during the construction phase, according to Scott’s analysis.

At the peak of construction, there will be more than 700 people employed on site. Once complete, the plant is expected to employ 31 people full-time.