November 8, 2021 Read More →

Entergy Arkansas IRP backs solar additions, cancels planned gas plant

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Entergy Arkansas is moving away from previous plans to add natural gas-powered turbines this decade in favor of more renewable resources, according to its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan.

Entergy Arkansas — the state’s largest transmission owner and electric utility — filed its long-range energy plan with the Arkansas Public Service Commission Oct. 29. Over 722,000 residential, commercial, industrial and governmental customers across 63 Arkansas counties rely on Entergy for their electrical needs.

The Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP, is required every three years by the commission, which regulates the service and rates of those utilities subject to its jurisdiction in Arkansas. The document covered 2023 to 2042 and is meant to provide insight into the company’s long-term planning process for meeting future demand and energy needs. It also includes action plans starting this year, such as completing the acquisitions for the Searcy, Walnut Bend and West Memphis solar facilities as construction is completed and preparing to deactivate Lake Catherine gas plant unit 4 in 2025.

Entergy spokesperson Brandi Hinkle said via email that the company’s analysis for the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan showed that renewable resources represent the best combination of cost, reliability and environmental sustainability for meeting the load and energy requirements of Entergy’s Arkansas customers.

Plans filed in 2018 with the commission included building a gas plant this decade, but this is not in the 2021 plans.

“Removing the natural gas-powered CCGT [combined cycle gas turbines] from Entergy Arkansas’ prior resource plan and replacing it with emission-free renewable resources provided better economics and increased environmental benefits for our customers,” Hinkle stated via email.

[Ashton Eley]

More: Entergy Arkansas shifts from plans to add gas turbines, turns to more renewable resources

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