West Baton Rouge Parish could soon become home to a 50-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant, the largest solar facility currently planned for Louisiana.
Entergy Louisiana recently signed a 20-year agreement with LA3 West Baton Rouge, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Eagle Solar Group, L.L.C., to buy the output of the proposed plant once it is up and running in early 2020. The power purchase agreement, which was selected from proposals received from a competitive solicitation for renewable resources, is subject to approval by the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Entergy Louisiana customers are expected to save an estimated $29 million over the life of the contract.
The solar project, which will cover about 500 acres of land near Port Allen, will produce enough electricity to power 9,500 homes, or offset nearly 19,000 passenger vehicles’ emissions in one year. It will consist of ground-mounted solar panels that track the sun’s movement throughout the day to produce up to 50 megawatts of electricity. It is scheduled to be in commercial operation by March 2020.
The solar plant will generate 350 jobs during construction with an emphasis on hiring local and hiring U.S. veterans. The project will bring $6.4 million in tax revenue to the surrounding region over the next 30 years. Additionally, Eagle and its affiliates will allocate a percentage of their investment for donation back to local charitable community organizations.
"This agreement is a step toward meeting our customers’ expectations for access to cost-effective sources of renewable energy," Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said. "Acquiring the output of this large-scale solar facility that can benefit all of our customers will be a great addition to a generation fleet that is already one of the cleanest in the nation."
William Lee, CEO of Eagle Solar Group, said, "We are excited to collaborate with Entergy Louisiana to develop and build the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the state. This project will provide Entergy Louisiana’s customers a sustainable, clean, and competitively priced source of electricity. We intend to source services and talent locally as much as possible, to maximize the economic benefit to the community."
"This plant will add another source of emission-free energy to our generation mix that already includes the two largest sources of clean energy in Louisiana – our Waterford 3 and River Bend nuclear units – as well as 180 megawatts of existing hydro, biomass and waste heat recovery resources," May said.
Entergy plans to invest approximately $4.3 billion over the next three years to modernize and upgrade its infrastructure and ensure a reliable supply of clean, affordable power to help Louisiana communities prosper.