Public service commissioner breaks down benefits, costs of new solar power plant coming to Caddo Parish
CADDO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - In an effort to bring clean, renewable energy to Louisiana, SWEPCO, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments are working together to bring solar energy to north Caddo Parish.
A 72-megawatt facility is being built near Hosston off I-49. The project is expected to save many people money.
ORIGINAL STORY>>> NEW SOLAR POWER FACILITY TO BE BUILT IN CADDO PARISH
“Louisiana has not been a progressive state when it comes to our environment. As a matter of fact, we have a terrible record when our environment is concerned,” said Commissioner Foster Campbell.
This is why the Louisiana Public Service Commission is leading the effort to make the state cleaner. The Rocking R solar power facility being built will have major benefits; it’s expected to bring power to 12,000 north Caddo homes. The facility is also anticipated to bring cheaper utilities across the board, and the ability to correct previous environmental damage.
“If these generate funds, you can now begin remediating the environmental impacts from the past. If this is truly clean and meets all the objectives of reliable energy at an affordable cost and minimal impact on the planet, so if it meets those objectives, that leaves room to take care of other things that are important to the environment,” said David Burroughs, a retired environmental engineer KSLA spoke with Friday, Sept. 23.
Those “other things” Burroughs references include waste area restoration, or areas affected by coal burning. Burroughs says harmful emissions would be lower, and the state would have to rely less on natural gas. The Public Service Commission says SWEPCO customers can look forward to saving money from the use of solar energy.
“As far as solar energy, you don’t have to pay for it like natural gas that you’ll always have to buy,” said Campbell.
With the cheaper resource, Campbell says all 200,000 plus SWEPCO customers should start to see lower utility rates over time. And they won’t have to pay for the construction of the solar plant either.
KSLA posted on Facebook to see how people feel about this solar power initiative. Some seemed unfazed by the possibility of this new resource affecting their livelihoods, and most were happy to hear the news, but others were concerned, saying they weren’t too sure about it.
The Public Service Commission also says they will be working with Entergy to integrate solar power into more parishes in the state.
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