Entergy Gulf States Louisiana plans to build a $187 million power transmission facility in the Lake Charles area, the region projected to have the fastest job growth in the state from an industrial boom that’s driving a need for more electricity.
The project includes two new substations, expanding a third substation and adding about 25 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. The Lake Charles Transmission Project is one of the largest single transmission projects in Entergy’s history.
Facilities in the Lake Charles area already have signed up for nearly 500 megawatts of new load, and additional projects by new or existing customers could double that amount, said Phillip May, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Gulf States and Entergy Louisiana LLC.
One megawatt is enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.
The project could potentially lower costs for all Lake Charles-area customers by improving access to lower-cost power in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. market, Entergy said.
Low electricity prices are one reason that more than 85 projects, representing more than $65 billion worth 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.
Entergy projects investing about $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 said it will ask the Louisiana Public Service Commission to approve the Lake Charles project. The company’s plans call for major construction activities to begin in 2016, with the transmission project to begin service in 2018.