Entergy Louisiana's 980-megawatt St. Charles Power Station will be one of the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel-fired plants in the company's fleet when it begins commercial operation in June 2019. Projections are the combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant will save Entergy Louisiana customers more than $1.3 billion over its anticipated 30-year life. Customer savings are projected to exceed the project's construction costs in less than 10 years. Entergy Louisiana will employ 31 people to operate the plant, which is currently under construction in Montz, approximately 30 miles from New Orleans.
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.
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.
The remaining exhaust gas is directed through the 195-foot tall exhaust stack. Emissions are continuously monitored to ensure air quality regulations are met.
Steam generated by the HRSGs is used to drive a steam turbine that rotates another generator and makes more electricity.
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 St. Charles Power Station.
Cooling water, drawn from the Mississippi River, 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 St. 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.
Why do you need to build a new power plant?
Building a new plant at the St. Charles Power Station location was determined through extensive analysis to be the lowest reasonable cost option to provide needed energy to the supply-constrained Amite South region of southeast Louisiana.
The new plant will add modern, highly efficient power capacity to Amite South, an area where â€” apart from Ninemile Point Unit 6 â€” the average age of fossil fuel-fired generating units is more than 40 years. Amite South encompasses the region from east of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area to the Mississippi state line and south to the Gulf of Mexico, including the metropolitan New Orleans area. The new 980-MW plant is one step toward fulfilling Entergy Louisiana's need to add power capacity to meet customers' power requirements.
How will this plant affect my utility bill?
The St. 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 more than $1.3 billion over the 30-year life of the plant. Savings are expected to exceed construction costs in less than 10 years.
In the first full year of the plant's operation, 2020, projections are customers will save $105 million in fuel costs.
Why did you select St. Charles Parish for the new combined-cycle plant?
We evaluated a number of sites and ultimately selected the 20-acre site adjacent to the existing Little Gypsy Power Plant in Montz based on speed of deployment and lower cost to customers. The site has good access to waterborne transportation and the necessary infrastructure such as transmission facilities, existing river water in-take structure and gas pipeline infrastructure.
When will the St. Charles Power Station be operational?
The plant is expected to be in service by June 2019. The plant will be capable of producing 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 2,000 direct and indirect jobs a year across the state, increase Louisiana business sales by $1.4 billion, and grow household earnings by $476.8 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 $26 million in new business sales and $15.4 million in new household earnings across the state.
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. During the height of construction, the project is expected to create approximately 700 temporary construction jobs. CB&I, the project's engineering, procurement and construction contractor, is gradually hiring workers with peak employment expected in 2018. 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 31 people, including 20 production technicians.
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?
Regular operations at the St. Charles Power Station will not commence until mid-2019, and prior to this time Entergy Louisiana has contracted with CB&I to construct the plant. 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, the project's engineering, procurement and construction contractor, at the CB&I supplier information page located here.Click here to submit a question.