MANY – Louisiana’s three investor-owned electric utilities will purchase the power generated by the Toledo Bend hydroelectric facility under terms of a new agreement approved today by the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
The deal approved Friday at the LPSC October meeting, held at Cypress Bend Resort near Many, means continued financial support for the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana and its Texas counterpart.
“Commissioner Mike Francis and I are pleased that Entergy, CLECO and
SWEPCO has committed to buy this clean, renewable power from Toledo Bend,” said Foster Campbell, LPSC District 5 commissioner.
Said Francis, District 4 commissioner: “The sale of electricity from Toledo Bend helps support the SRA of Louisiana and all the recreational and tourism programs it sponsors to benefit everyone in western Louisiana.”
Louisiana and Texas jointly constructed Toledo Bend Dam on the Sabine River in the early 1960s for water supply, hydroelectric power generation and recreation. In 1964 the two states, through their respective Sabine River authorities, reached a 50-year agreement with Gulf States Utility Co., CLECO and Louisiana Power & Light Co. for the purchase of power generated by the hydroelectric plant on the Sabine River.
GSU and LP&L are now part of Entergy, which is a party to the current deal
along with CLECO and Shreveport-based SWEPCO.
The original agreement expired in April of this year. With urging from the SRA of Louisiana and Commissioners Francis and Campbell, the parties negotiated a new deal that will govern power sales through May 2023.
It calls for Entergy, largest of the three utilities, to purchase 54 percent of the plant’s 80 megawatts. CLECO and SWEPCO will each take 23 percent.
“This agreement is good for Entergy, CLECO and SWEPCO customers and also for Louisiana as a whole,” Francis said. “The power is clean and renewable and the cost is lower than the old agreement.”
Campbell said SWEPCO’s participation in the power purchase is appropriate given that SWEPCO provides electricity for many of the residents and businesses in the Toledo Bend region.
“This lake supports thousands of Louisiana residents by drawing recreational fishermen from throughout the nation,” Campbell said. “It is a valuable resource that we should protect and build upon for the future.”
The new power sales agreement marks the second time in recent years that the LPSC has supported the Toledo Bend region. In 2007 the Commission agreed to slightly reduce hydroelectric generation on the Sabine River to allow a higher minimum lake level. The change was pushed by residents whose lakeside camps were left on dry land during periods of drought.