May 24, 2016 04:44 PM
LEPA's $120 million natural gas-fired electrical power plant in Morgan City will be fully operational June 1.

The Louisiana Energy and Power Authority has constructed it first power plant, a $120 million natural gas-fired electrical facility in Morgan City. Final testing is underway at the plant, which will be fully operational June 1.

LEPA is headquartered in Lafayette.

The plant is a 64-megawatt nominal rated natural gas fired combined-cycle gas turbine generating plant. It is the first power plant to be built in the southern region of Louisiana in approximately 40 years.

Six LEPA member municipalities — Morgan City, Houma, Jonesville, Plaquemine, Rayne and Vidalia — have entered into long-term power sales agreements for the plant’s power output. “The plant is expected to supply these municipalities with competitively priced electrical power that will reduce their reliance on older, more costly electric supply options,” said LEPA General Manager Cordell Grand in a press release.

“The CCGT technology used in this plant is superior to conventional fossil fueled generating plants because of its higher efficiency, lower environmental impact, lower capital cost and shorter construction time,” Cordell added. “Because the plant is fuel efficient, it will help stabilize the cost of electrical power for these municipalities by minimizing the impact of fluctuations in natural gas rates.”

The plant has a number of energy efficiency features:
• Waste heat from the gas turbine will be recovered and used to produce additional power.
• The combine cycle gas turbine generators are highly efficient and support clean air.
• The unit uses clean burning natural gas, minimizing extensive environmental control systems. A 1.3 mile, 8-inch natural gas pipeline was constructed to interconnect the plant to the Texas Gas Transmission pipeline.
• The plant utilizes reclaimed water discharged from the nearby Morgan City Waste Water Treatment Plant, conserving treated water.

Created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1979, LEPA consists of 17 Louisiana municipalities that each maintain their own independent municipal electrical system. LEPA is a joint-action agency working to provide its member communities with firm, stable sources of electrical power at the lowest possible cost.

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