LEPA presents power plan to Plaquemine officials

Staff reports

Louisiana Energy and Power Authority (LEPA) gave a presentation Tuesday to the Plaquemine Board of Selectmen suggesting the city would benefit if it backed the construction of new gas-powered electric generation plants in Houma and Morgan City.

Plaquemine Mayor Mark Tony” Gulotta has been exploring ways to provide cheaper power rates to the community and LEPA is the current city supplier. However, Gulotta indicated during the meeting that city officials are checking into two other sources of energy for the community and would not commit at this time to the LEPA construction proposals. LEPA officials said the company would need an answer about its involvement in the construction proposal by March.

LEPA has proposed building a 45-megawatt combustion turbine at its Houma facility and a 110-megawatt combined cycle in Morgan City. The current facilities in Houma and Morgan City have exceeded or ended their operational life and the company has been relaying on outside sources for cheaper power, but access has dwindled in recent years.

Plaquemine is one of several cities in South Louisiana that utilizes LEPA power and energy prices soared over the summer months and many local residents struggled to pay their utility bills.