Entergy New Orleans May Get Cheap Power From Arkansas Plant

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans City Council committee has approved an agreement in principle allowing Entergy New Orleans to buy part of the low-cost power generated at an Arkansas power plant.

         The New Orleans Advocate’s Jaquetta White reported Monday the agreement means the Union Power Station in El Dorado, Arkansas, will be purchased by Entergy Arkansas, Entergy Texas and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. The latter firm will acquire two of the station's four natural gas-fired generating units, which are capable of producing 990 megawatts of power, according to the city council's Utility, Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee.

         Through a purchase agreement, Entergy New Orleans would buy 20 percent of the power generated by the Entergy Gulf States Louisiana portion of the plant, or about 200 megawatts of power, said Councilman Jason Williams, who also chairs the utility committee.

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         "This acquisition could not come at a better time," Williams said. "With the Entergy generation plant retirements scheduled for 2016, including Michoud, this deal will help fill the gap and meet the energy needs of our citizens well into the future."

         Entergy's Michoud plant will be taken out of service next year, officials said.

         Entergy New Orleans said the Entergy Gulf States Louisiana purchase is expected to produce more than $200 million in savings to ratepayers over its life. Joe Vumbaco, a technical adviser to the council on energy matters, said the savings for Entergy New Orleans customers will be about $60 million.

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         The council committee set an April 30, 2016, deadline for closing the deal.


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