JEFFERSON – Entergy Louisiana, Entergy New Orleans and Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Diamond Generating Corporation, have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the evaluation and potential early development of wind power generation in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement could put Entergy in a position to deliver another source of clean power to customers while also strengthening the region’s economic development.
“This is an important first step to possibly bring wind power to our Louisiana shores,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “While there remains work to be done before that happens, we are excited by the opportunity to begin this process. We aspire to help our communities thrive for generations to come, and this marks yet another milestone in honoring that mission.”
“Clean and affordable power is a driver of economic growth, resulting in increased investments and good-paying, green jobs in our communities,” added Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO. “Entergy New Orleans understands the importance of serving customers with clean energy to reduce the impacts of climate change and doing so in a way that keeps service affordable to families and businesses in New Orleans. This agreement creates another possible avenue to meet those demands.”
The MOU provides a legal framework for Entergy and Diamond Offshore Wind to work toward the development of potential offshore wind demonstration projects located in Louisiana state waters and will focus in the near term on the evaluation of grid interconnection to determine the optimal size and locations of future offshore wind development.
Earlier this year, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards submitted the Louisiana Climate Action Plan, which offered a series of recommendations that can lead Louisiana to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A key component of that plan is to achieve five gigawatts of offshore wind generation by 2035.
“Diamond Offshore Wind is pleased to announce our partnership with Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans to explore building the first offshore wind project in Louisiana state waters and in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Chris Wissemann, the company’s CEO. “Louisiana has a tremendous opportunity to develop an offshore wind industry that services the entire country, and through this project, we hope to accelerate its development, create jobs, provide a renewable source of power to Louisiana customers, and help Louisiana meet its climate goals.”
Entergy Louisiana currently has approximately 280 megawatts of renewable resources, including the Capital Region Solar facility, which began delivering power to the grid in October 2020. Along with nuclear generation, nearly 30% of the company’s portfolio comes from renewable resources. In addition, the LPSC recently approved 475 megawatts of solar power with an additional 2,000 megawatts in the queue.
Entergy New Orleans’ diverse generation portfolio includes the 20-megawatts New Orleans Solar Station and the soon-to-be-completed Iris Solar and St. James Solar projects, which will add an additional 70 megawatts of clean energy. In addition, the company has five megawatts of solar installed on commercial and residential roofs. Together with nuclear, these carbon-free resources account for nearly 40% of the company’s generation capacity and will continue to decrease Entergy New Orleans’ carbon emissions, which today are already nearly 40% below the national average.
Entergy Corporation has been an industry leader in voluntary climate action for more than two decades. In 2001, the company was the first U.S. electric utility to commit to voluntarily stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. That goal has since been accelerated with a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Diamond Offshore Wind is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation.