Entergy looking to expand solar footprint throughout Louisiana; But how will this impact your bills?
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials with Entergy Louisiana are seeking approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission to add more gigawatts of solar energy across Louisiana.
It’s an effort to boost economic development throughout the state, but could it also mean lower bills in the future?
“We have a tremendous amount of interest and new industry locating in Louisiana. And in order to do that, they’re looking for clean no carbon energy, and the best way to do that is through solar energy,” said Phillip May, President & CEO of Entergy Louisiana.
Entergy recently asked the PSC to approve their largest renewable power expansion in state history, all to boost economic development.
“You have jobs associated with constructing the solar facilities and then you’ll have a handful of jobs associated with maintaining permanent jobs at those facilities. More importantly, we’re going to be attracting jobs and millions of dollars in investments in new facilities,” said May.
So, while that all sounds great, what is this going to actually mean for your already high Entergy bills?
“We saw gas prices spike last Summer, this will help mitigate the effect on prices of electricity, because solar comes with no fuel cost,” said May.
But he says it’ll be about a year or two from now before these massive solar projects will be complete.
So as summer approaches, the relief may not be there as soon as anticipated.
“I think the devil is in the details, and I want to make sure that we are implementing this in a way that not only provides reductions not only for our industrial users, but really tackle people who are crunching from these hard bills,” said Davante Lewis, Public Service Commissioner for District 3.
Lewis believes this is a step in the right direction for Entergy to not just rely on natural gas. But there needs to be more efforts to help customers as well.
“So, this is a good sign for the consumers of Louisiana, this is a good sign for Energy Louisiana, but we have to also make sure that we’re doing whatever we can to lower bills. So, this should not be the only solution, and there are other solutions that the Commission is currently looking at to give consumers more options,” said Lewis.
Entergy Louisiana plans to have around 15 to 17 gigawatts of renewable resources by the end of 2031.
To read more about Entergy’s announcement click here.
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