Lake Charles Power Station

Entergy Louisiana's Lake Charles Power Station, a 994-megawatt combined-cycle power plant in Westlake, is a key element of our plan to provide the clean, efficient energy needed to power economic growth and bring even more savings to our customers.

The natural gas-fired plant, which will be one of the most efficient and cleanest fossil fuel-fired plants in Entergy Louisiana's fleet, is scheduled to be in service by June 2020. Customers are expected to save between $1.3 and $2 billion over the plant's anticipated 30-year life.

The plant will cost approximately $872 million to build including transmission and other project-related costs and contingency.

How Does a Combined-Cycle Plant Work?

A. Combustion Turbine

A combustion turbine unit operates much like a jet engine, drawing in air and compressing it. The compressed air is mixed with natural gas and ignited, creating rapidly expanding exhaust gases. These gases move through the gas turbine blades, making them spin. The blades are attached to a shaft that drives a generator on the cold end of the turbine converting a portion of the spinning energy into electricity.

B. Heat Recovery Steam Generators

The exhaust heat from the gas turbines is directed to boiler-like equipment known as Heat Recovery Steam Generators, or HRSGs. As their name implies, the HRSGs create steam by using heat recovered from the gas turbine flue gases. This steam is piped to the steam turbine.

C. Stack

The remaining exhaust gas is directed through the 195-foot tall exhaust stack. Emissions are continuously monitored to ensure air quality regulations are met.

D. Steam Turbine

Steam generated by the HRSGs is used to drive a steam turbine that rotates another generator and makes more electricity.

E. Step-up Transformer

It steps up the generator voltage to transmission voltages and connects the generator to the grid, allowing the power to flow from the plant to thousands of homes and businesses. Three step-up transformers, one for each turbine, will be installed at Lake Charles Power Station.

F. Cooling Tower

Cooling water, drawn from the existing onsite Sabine River Authority (SRA) pond, removes the small amount of remaining heat from the steam after it exits the steam turbine and is piped to the cooling tower where large fans move air to cool the water. The Lake Charles Power Station will use a closed-loop system where water is reused and only make-up water for evaporation is required from the pond.

Construction in Context

FAQs

Why do you need to build a new power plant?

Southwest Louisiana is one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, and the Lake Charles Power Station will provide the generating capacity required to meet our customers' needs. Constructing this clean, highly efficient plant is also another step in our ongoing effort to modernize Entergy Louisiana's fleet. Construction of the plant also avoids some $600 million of transmission projects that would otherwise be needed to maintain reliability in the Lake Charles region.

Who will get power from the plant?

It will be an Entergy Louisiana facility that provides power to the company's customers. And it will reduce costs to all Entergy Louisiana customers. Its proximity to residential, commercial and industrial customers in southwest Louisiana will improve reliability and facilitate restoration in that region following major storms.

How will this plant affect my utility bill?

The Lake Charles Power Station will be one of the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel-fired plants in Entergy Louisiana's fleet. Projections are the plant will save customers between $1.3 billion to nearly $2 billion over its anticipated 30-year life. The savings are projected to exceed construction costs in less than 10 years.

In the full first year of operation (2021), the typical residential Entergy Louisiana customer using an average of 1,000 kWh a month will see a projected net increase of between $1.70 and $1.87 on their monthly bill. In that first full year of operation, the cost of the plant is expected to add $3.55 to the monthly bill of that typical residential customer, which will be partially offset by projected savings of between $1.68 to $1.85 per month (depending on future gas price assumptions). The capacity cost charged to customers will decrease over time, while the projected savings are expected to increase with the anticipated rise in the price of natural gas in the years ahead.

What environmental permits are needed before construction can begin on the plant?

All of the necessary environmental approvals have been received, and construction is underway on the site. The permits received include the air permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as well as the Section 404 (wetlands) permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Section 401 (water quality) permit from the LDEQ was issued in the second quarter of 2017.

Why did you decide to build the new combined-cycle unit next to the Roy S. Nelson Plant?

We evaluated a number of sites before selecting the land adjacent to the Nelson plant in Westlake. It was determined to be the lowest reasonable cost alternative to provide needed energy to the Lake Charles region.

Lake Charles is located within Entergy Louisiana's West of the Atchafalaya Basin or “WOTAB” region, an area which runs roughly from west of Baton Rouge to the Texas state line and from just north of the Gulf of Mexico to the northern edge of Entergy Louisiana's service area in southwest Louisiana. The new plant will add modern, highly efficient generation within WOTAB where the average age of generating units will be more than 40 years by 2020.

The Nelson site also will allow the company to use existing infrastructure and resources, including existing transmission and cooling water infrastructure, which helps reduce the project's cost.

When will the Lake Charles Power Station be operational?

The plant is expected to be in commercial operation by June 2020. The plant can produce enough energy to meet the average power needs of approximately 675,000 typical Louisiana homes.

How will this project benefit the local economy?

The economic impact of the plant's construction will generate on average an estimated 1,200 direct and indirect jobs a year across the state, increase Louisiana business sales by $1.2 billion, and grow household earnings by $420 million, according to an analysis by Louisiana economist Dr. Loren Scott.

At the peak of construction, there will be approximately 700 people employed directly on site. Ongoing operations of the plant will generate an estimated $18 million in new business sales and $12 million in new household earnings in Calcasieu Parish, according to Scott's analysis.

Where can I go to apply for a job with Entergy or with this project?

Those interested in applying for jobs with Entergy can find information posted here. At the peak of construction, there will be approximately 700 people employed directly on site. CB&I is the project's engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Many activities require specialized skills and qualifications. Those interested in applying for jobs on the project should go to www.cbi.com/careers.

Once the plant is complete Entergy Louisiana expects to employ approximately 30 people.

I have a product or service that could benefit the project. How can I do business with Entergy or with the company that will be building the plant?

CB&I is the project's engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Our contract with CB&I strives to include a diverse mix of suppliers, including those local to the Entergy service territories. We want to procure goods and services in the most economical way. You can find more information on doing business with CB&I at the CB&I supplier information page located here.

Why aren't you adding any renewable energy to help replace aging plants and meet the state's power needs?

Natural gas-fired combined-cycle units remain one of the most cost-effective sources of the clean, affordable and reliable energy needed by our customers and to power their homes and businesses. However, we recognize the economics of renewable resources are quickly changing. That's why Entergy Louisiana issued a request for proposals in 2016 for up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy. We have selected two preferred offers through that RFP and are currently negotiating terms of definitive agreements on those proposals. We hope to be able to make an announcement in the coming weeks. The renewable energy proposals will be subject to approval by the LPSC.

If you have a question or concern, please email us at lakecharlespower@entergy.com or call us at 337-431-6234.