BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In another step to enhance the reliability of its transmission system and enable economic growth in its service area, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. announced today plans for a major transmission project in southwest Louisiana.
Referred to as the Lake Charles Transmission Project, preliminary plans call for an estimated $187 million, including contingency, investment in the Lake Charles area. The project represents one of the largest single transmission projects in Entergy's history. It includes construction of two new substations, expansion of a third, and adding about 25 total miles of high-voltage transmission lines – including both 500 kV and 230 kV lines – to move power more reliably and efficiently into a region projected to have the fastest job growth rate in the state.
"Projects like this, as well as the proposed Union Power Station acquisition announced last year and the Ninemile 6 power plant unit which just came online early and under budget, help ensure we have highly reliable and affordable electricity for our existing customers as well as new customers moving to our region. Nearly 500 megawatts of new load have already signed up for facilities in the Lake Charles area and the potential exists for another 500 megawatts that are in various stages of exploration by new or existing customers in that part of the state," said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. and Entergy Louisiana, LLC.
In addition to enhancing reliability, operational flexibility, and helping meet the increased demand in the region, the project will also improve access to lower cost generation in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. market, potentially reducing costs for all customers in the area.
Low electricity prices are one reason that more than 85 projects, representing over $65 billion of investment, have been announced, signed or are under development in Entergy's four-state service area. The industrial expansion is projected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and the potential addition of approximately 1,700 megawatts of new industrial load across the four-state region.
"All customers benefit when Louisiana attracts new industry. New industrial load leads to additional power sales, which support capital investments like the Lake Charles Transmission Project that enhance service and reliability for all customers. Industrial growth also means more jobs in Louisiana and a larger tax base so our communities can invest in improving their schools, roads and parks," May said.
Louisiana ranks second in the South and fifth in the nation in private-sector job growth rate since 2008, according to a state economic development report issued Dec. 29, 2014. And the Lake Charles region alone is expected to add 12,000 new jobs over the next two years, a 12 percent increase "making it by far the fastest growing" area in the state, according to projections in another report, Louisiana Economic Outlook: 2015 and 2016, authored by Louisiana economists Loren Scott and James Richardson.
Entergy projects investing approximately $2 billion in its four states over the next three years in transmission capital projects related to reliability and economic development, representing a nearly 60 percent increase in transmission capital spending over the previous three years.
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana will seek Louisiana Public Service Commission approval of the project, which was authorized by Entergy's board of directors in December 2014. Current plans have major construction activities beginning in 2016, with a proposed in-service date in 2018.
Entergy's Louisiana utility companies provide electric service to more than one million customers through the operating companies Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area through Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.
Additional investor information can be accessed at www.entergy.com/investor_relations
In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. make certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to each of them and their parent company, Entergy Corporation (collectively, "Entergy"). Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in this news release and in Entergy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) changes in decommissioning trust fund values or earnings or in the timing or cost of decommissioning Vermont Yankee or any of Entergy's other nuclear plant sites; (f) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; and (g) economic conditions and conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and subsequent securities filings.
SOURCE Entergy Corporation