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With utilities such as Entergy, Cleco and LUS looking to buy renewable energy, another solar farm is being proposed in Louisiana. A $98 million solar farm in Morehouse Parish is seeking tax breaks for manufacturing renewable power, according to an advance notification filed with the state economic development office. Bayou Galion Solar Project LLC, a subsidiary of Recurrent Energy Development Holdings, proposes building a 98.1-megawatt solar farm on 1,000 acres leased from landowners outside of Bastrop. That has the potential to power 20,500 homes. The company is also a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, a publicly traded business that manufactures solar panels and builds solar farms.

the advocate

The first thing that we must decide is will we advocate for all energy sources the need to scale back their subsidy requests or will we say oil bad and renewable good? This solar farm would have 3 permanent employees and need 150 to build it, by 2024. They are seeking an 80% tax abatement. All such farms have an abatement but local governments are pushing back. Also, Entergy is not contracted yet by the solar farm.

Demand for solar farms has increased since Entergy announced it would be buying solar power. Entergy has been mostly interested in solar farms in southeast Louisiana, according to recent bid records. However, new requests for proposals are expected in the coming years as part of “a recurring series of RFPs for renewable resources to support ongoing Entergy Louisiana energy needs to capitalize on the improving economics of solar and potentially offer other technologies relative to conventional resources,” according to Entergy. Elsewhere in Louisiana, Lafayette Utilities System wants to diversify its power sources into renewable energy by purchasing up to 300 megawatts of solar power. Separately, Pineville-based electric utility Cleco, which has a regulated unit serving 24 parishes primarily in central and south Louisiana and an unregulated unit serving nine Louisiana electric cooperatives, announced it is looking to add 400 megawatts of solar electricity in the coming years.

Renewables are coming and consumers are asking so the energy industry should see the writing on the wall, but will they?

Utilities want more Renewable Power
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