Floating Gas-Fired Power Station Planned Off Louisiana Coast

Entergy Louisiana has asked state officials for approval to build a floating natural gas-fired power plant that would serve areas along the Gulf Coast.

The utility’s recent March filing with the Louisiana Public Service Commission calls for construction of a $411 million, 112-MW floating facility called the Bayou Power Station. The plant would be located near Leeville, southwest of New Orleans.

Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, in a statement said the Bayou station would be “a unique solution” to supply electricity to areas important to Louisiana industry, including the energy, tourism, and seafood sectors. The utility, a unit of New Orleans-based Entergy, in its filing said the floating facility would be located atop a barge near a power substation in Leeville. It would be designed to provide backup power, particularly during outages, and would be part of a microgrid system that would serve commercial and industrial interests, including industries in the Port Fourchon area, as well as residential customers in the areas of Golden Meadow, Leeville, and Grand Isle.

Investment in Region’s Power Infrastructure

The utility in a news release said, “This transformative project represents a significant investment in the region’s energy infrastructure, aimed at bolstering resilience and reliability for communities and industries along the coast that are vital to local and national economies.” The utility said the plant would be “equipped with black-start capability and the ability to rapidly start-up and ramp down.”

State officials have said Port Fourchon services about 95% of the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater energy production, including as much as 15% of the nation’s domestic and foreign oil business. The area from Grand Isle to Golden Meadow is a hub for the seafood industry.

Entergy Louisiana in announcing the project said the Bayou Power Station would to support the reliability and resilience of the power system in the region along the coast.

“Whether you’re located in a big city, small town or along the coast, Entergy Louisiana is committed to providing our customers with affordable and reliable power,” said May. “Our customers in areas like Grand Isle, Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon play an important role in our state’s tourism and seafood industries and energy sector, and the Bayou Power Station is a unique solution to meeting their power needs into the future.”

The utility in a news release said, “The addition of Bayou Power Station would complement projects that have been completed over the past couple years to build resilience into the electric system near the coast. Some examples of these projects include the Caminada substation, which was elevated 20 feet off the ground on a concrete platform; upgrading around seven miles of transmission lines with about 80 steel structures between Cut Off and Golden Meadow; and undergrounding around eight miles of distribution lines along Louisiana Highway 1 from Leeville to Grand Isle and taking strategic steps to fortify the overhead electric system in the area.”

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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