Entergy Louisiana gets approval to add 3GW solar PV

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Capital Region Solar plant from Entergy in Louisiana with a 50MW capacity
Capital Region Solar plant from Entergy in Louisiana with a 50MW capacity. Image: Entergy

US power distribution company Entergy Louisiana has received approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) to add up to 3GW of solar PV.

The company filed a request to the LPSC over a year ago for the up to 3GW of solar capacity, while earlier this year, it received approval for 225MW of solar capacity, which it was also seeking to add to its generation capacity mix.

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This will allow Entergy Louisiana to increase its installed clean energy portfolio which currently only represents a quarter of its total portfolio.

Currently, the utility has 230MW of installed renewables capacity, including the 50MW Capital Region Solar project, near Baton Rouge, which has been operational since October 2020. Overall, the utility has a solar portfolio of over 3.8GW in various stages of development and approval.

“This approval underscores our commitment to meeting operational and sustainability needs, driving economic development, and protecting the environment,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO.

According to trade association the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), only 352MW of solar capacity has been installed in Louisiana as of the fourth quarter of 2023.

Despite lagging in total installed capacity, the state has the potential to add over 4.1GW of PV capacity in the next five years – the 12th most US state in that time period – and has seen an increased interest in building solar capacity in the southern state of Louisiana.

This year alone, several developers have secured financing for PV projects in the state. In March, solar developer Lightsource bp bagged US$140 million in tax equity to build a 180MW PV project, while earlier this year, developer Recurrent Energy – a subsidiary of PV manufacturer Canadian Solar – secured US$160 million in financing for its 172MW PV project in Louisiana.

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