Entergy Corp. officials have filed a request with their home state regulator to add 3 GW of solar power projects to their generation assets in coming years, signifying a major ramp-up of their renewables ambitions.
Entergy Louisiana operators about 280 MW of renewable resources today and last September received the nod from the Louisiana Public Service Commission to add 475 MW of capacity from four projects in three parishes. The New Orleans-based company earlier this month also requested that the commission approve almost 225 MW of solar power from two projects. The company's latest filing would more than triple the combined capacity of those three buckets.
“Like never before, our state has opportunity to retain businesses, support expansion projects and attract new companies on a global scale,” Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “But it’s going to take meeting their operational and sustainability needs. Our latest request […] shows we’re serious about not only protecting the environment by reducing our carbon footprint, but also continuing to be a major driver of economic development.”
With their big solar application and other initiatives, new CEO Drew Marsh, May and their teams are looking to track the strong growth of Louisiana’s industrial base, much of it from liquefied natural gas firms such as Venture Global LNG Inc. and other players in the energy sector. Much of the drive to expand the United States’ energy infrastructure is centered on the Gulf Coast and is rapidly growing to include carbon sequestration as hydrogen and other renewable-fuel projects in addition to traditional oil and gas investments.
The Entergy team predicts that its industrial sales across Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi will grow by about 4 TWh this year, another 6 TWh next year and 3 more TWh in 2025. On an annual basis, that amounts to more than 6% growth. Renewables will be a big source of Entergy’s capacity growth in coming years: Leaders last month said they planned to add between 15 GW and 17 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2031.
Entergy, which employs about 12,000 people across its service territories, has had several busy years expanding in Louisiana. The company has recently proposed a 10-year, $9.6 billion resilience plan, completed a $15 million upgrade of transmission lines and broke ground on a multi-phase substation in New Orleans.