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Entergy Plans Power Shift by 2030Lock Icon

2 min read

Entergy Arkansas CEO Laura Landreaux isn’t ready to reveal exactly what power sources will fill the generation void when it shuts down two coal-fired plants in 2028 and 2030.

But the state’s largest electric utility, which serves about 730,000 homes and businesses, should have a better idea by the end of the year. Some of that power is certain to be solar, Landreaux told Whispers in an interview last month.

“I’m not prepared to convey exactly what those replacement strategies look like,” Landreaux said. “That’s all under development now. We’re developing what we call our 2024 Integrated Resource Plan, a plan that we do every three years. We look at the load we have coming online and look at the resources we have, and we look at what we’re going to need to build.”

The plan will be completed by the end of the year, and the investor-owned utility will have “a line of sight on a public basis to explain how we’re going to replace that capacity.”

Adding generation resources responsibly, reliably and affordably is one of Entergy’s great challenges, she said. Solar power and other renewable sources will fill some of the gap, but as Landreaux pointed out, solar units operate only when the sun is shining.

Deal with NextEra

“We will continue to add renewable resources to our portfolio,” she said.

Entergy Arkansas’ parent company, Entergy Corp., struck a joint development deal with NextEra Energy Resources of Juno Beach, Florida, last month to build 4.5 gigawatts of solar power projects over the next five years.

“It’s simply in the agreement stage,” with no specific projects yet defined, Landreaux said. “It’s clearly a low-cost fuel, but it’s not the complete picture. It is an asset to the overall diverse [generation] portfolio.”

Stay tuned for more on the Entergy-NextEra deal.

The Florida company has already worked with Entergy Arkansas on some of its biggest solar projects, and while the new deal could put solar farms in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, nothing concrete has emerged yet.

The two plants where Entergy Arkansas is scheduled to stop burning coal are White Bluff in Redfield and Independence in Newark.

The Redfield plant will stop burning coal in 2028, and Independence will follow suit in 2030. The plants provide Entergy Arkansas customers with about 14% of their electricity supply.

Entergy agreed to stop coal generation at the two sites in a 2018 federal consent decree.

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