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Entergy wants to make it (really) big in Louisiana with solar power

(Entergy Louisiana is purchasing the power generated by Capital Region Solar, a 50-megawatt solar facility constructed in West Baton Rouge Parish, under a 20-year contract with Helios Infrastructure, a joint venture between Nationwide and Sol Systems, (Courtesy of Entergy Louisiana ))

Just weeks after Entergy Louisiana asked state regulators to approve 225 MW of new solar power — a modest request for some states but one that would nearly double Louisiana’s installed capacity — the utility has upped its request by 3 GW.

Entergy Louisiana filed the application with the Louisiana Public Service Commission on March 14 and is now asking for approval of 3,225 MW of new solar power.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Louisiana ranks 38th in the US with 278 MW of installed capacity. If Entergy Louisiana’s application is approved, Louisiana would have more than 3,500 MW of solar capacity by the time the projects are completed.

For comparison, the state of New York ranked 10th in the US with 4,259 MW of installed solar capacity in 2022.

Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May said the request “shows we are serious” about protecting the environment and supporting economic development.

“As never before, our state has the ability to retain businesses, support expansion projects and attract new businesses on a global scale, but it will be required to meet their operational and sustainability needs,” May said.

According to Entergy Louisiana, all of the projects making up the 3GW application would be built in Louisiana, meaning local communities and economies would benefit from the job creation and additional tax revenue generated during the construction of the facilities.

The utility added that increased solar capacity would help protect customers from volatile natural gas prices.

Entergy Corporation, the parent company of Entergy Louisiana, plans to add 15-17 GW of renewable sources by the end of 2031.