The Louisiana Public Service Commission needs to learn from past mistakes to make sure any government-steered rush into increasing renewable energy provision doesn’t cost ratepayers any more than what they would pay with use of fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Last month, the latest announcement of a Louisiana regulated utility planning to replace a fossil fuel source with a renewable one came from Cleco. This comes on the heels of another from Southwest Electric Power, in both cases about launching a solar array. The more recent will be built on the site of a former coal facility decommissioned last year, which dropped the state as a whole down to two such generation sites now providing fewer than 1,000 MWh or about 13.5 percent of all power generated statewide.
It all comes as part of a plan to ramp up significantly the amount of renewable energy fed into the production stream in Louisiana. While this source comprises less than four percent of electricity available in the state, one supplier, Entergy Louisiana, wants to jack this up to over a third of the state’s supply within the next four years, according to requested and anticipated filings.