Entergy Arkansas has reached an agreement with organisations opposed to the use of coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity that allows the company to secure nearly 50 years’ economic benefit from each of two coal-fired plants in Arkansas.
The agreement allows the company to move forward with plans to replace these older generating plants with newer, highly efficient generation resources for Arkansas — a result that allows Entergy Arkansas to continue delivering long-term, cost-effective power to customers. The deal also provides a predictable transition for employees of the plants, a positive economic result for customers and an end to ongoing lawsuits over the use of coal at the plants.
The agreement also includes a plan to cease operations within 9 - 12 years at the aging plants. Entergy Arkansas’ White Bluff, Independence and Lake Catherine four plants will be replaced with newer, highly efficient technologies as part of an ongoing strategy to transform the company’s power generation portfolio to better meet customers’ needs today and in the future. Currently, Entergy Arkansas uses a diverse mix of resources to generate electricity, including utility-scale solar investments, low-emitting modern natural gas units and zero emissions nuclear plants.
“These generating units in Arkansas, and our employees who work there, have been an important part of Entergy Arkansas for approximately four decades,” said Laura Landreaux, President and CEO of Entergy Arkansas.
“This agreement allows for a reasonable transition to new energy resources by extending the life of the plants and associated jobs for another 9 - 12 years while preparing for the future.”
Under the Clean Air Act’s regional haze programme, the White Bluff and Independence plants are subject to a currently-stayed requirement of installing costly emissions control technologies by 2021 or ceasing to use coal at the plants. This agreement, if approved, will avoid this requirement, saving customers potentially US$2 billion.
With the agreement in place, Entergy Arkansas, along with co-owners, will:
- Begin using only low-sulfur coal at the White Bluff and Independence coal plants starting no later than 30 June 2021.
- Cease to use coal entirely at White Bluff no later than the end of 2028.
- Cease to use coal entirely no later than the end of 2030.
- Continue to use only natural gas at the Lake Catherine 4 plant and cease operation of the plant by the end of 2027.
- Maintain the option to develop new generating sources at the plant sites.
- Pursue approval of 800 MW of renewable generating sources, with at least 400 MW brought to regulators no later than the end of 2022 and the remainder no later than the end of 2027. This includes the 181 MW of solar in Arkansas already approved by regulators.
The agreement allows Entergy Arkansas to continue job and career-planning opportunities for employees at the plants beyond 2021, and furthers the company’s actions as an environmental leader.Entergy Arkansas’ benchmarking air emissions report is available here: http://mjbradley.com/benchmarking-air-emissions.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/19112018/entergy-agrees-to-continue-transitioning-its-arkansas-coal-power-plants-to-produce-cleaner-energy/