St. Charles Power Station

The St. Charles Power Station is Entergy Louisiana's newest natural gas power plant.

Power company Entergy Louisiana's newest plant near the St. Charles Parish community of Montz is up and running as of May 23, the company announced.

The St. Charles Power Station cost roughly $869 million to construct, a bill that is expected to be split among 1 million ratepayers across the state. It also has about 93,000 natural gas service customers in Baton Rouge. 

In 2016, Entergy's top executive, Phillip May, told The Advocate that he expected the new plant's efficiency would ultimately save customers $1.3 billion in a 30-year time frame due to lower operating costs. The technology used in the new plant is referred to as combined cycle, where natural gas is mixed with compressed air which turn turbines to produce electricity. Any leftover product is redirected back into the plant for use rather than released into the atmosphere — the core of its efficiency. 

On average, the new power plant emits about 40 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the company's older natural gas plants, according to a news release. 

The new power plant is projected to generate 980 megawatts of electricity each day, which was likened to powering the demand of New Orleans' air conditioners on a hot summer day. 

It is one of more than 40 Entergy power plants, which range from natural gas to nuclear and hydroelectric power generating more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity across its network. 

The project was previously delayed in 2017 after the St. Charles Parish Council voted to postpone a zoning request for a gas compression station on the power plant site amid resident safety concerns. It has since been completed ahead of schedule, the electric utility said. 

About 955 workers were hired during the construction phase of the power plant. The company expects to have about 31 workers running the plant's operations.

Entergy has about 13,700 workers across Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. Its annual revenue for 2018 was $11 billion and it generated $863 million in net income last year, according to its annual report. 

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