Groundbreaking set for LEPA power plant
The Louisiana Energy and Power Authority power plant, depicted in the illustration, to be constructed in Morgan City, is to produce 64 megawatts of electricity when completed in 2015.
The Louisiana Energy and Power Authority will hold a ground-breaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday for its $120.77 million new natural gas fired electrical power plant to be built in Morgan City behind the Joseph Cefalu Municipal Steam Plant, according to a news release.
A ceremony and reception will follow at the Morgan City Auditorium. The plant will be a 64-megawatt natural gas fueled combined-cycle gas turbine generating plant. The new plant is the first power plant to be built in the southern region of Louisiana in about 40 years, the release stated.
Morgan City will have a 10-megawatt share in the plant.
“The CCGT technology is superior to conventional fossil fueled generating plants because of its higher efficiency, lower environmental impact, lower capital cost, and shorter construction time,” LEPA General Manager Cordell Grand said. “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.”
Six LEPA member municipalities that include Morgan City, Houma, Jonesville, Plaquemine, Rayne and Vidalia, have committed to participate in the project by entering 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,” Grand said. “This project would not have been possible without the cooperation and hard work of these municipalities in jointly funding development of this project since 2010.”
LEPA awarded the contract for construction of the plant to Robins and Morton Group of Birmingham, Ala., and completion is scheduled for late 2015, the release stated.
Morgan City Mayor and LEPA Board Member Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said, “We are very fortunate that this plant is being built in Morgan City. As a member of LEPA, it is important to keep up with new technology and energy efficiency in order to keep energy costs low for our citizens.”
According to the news release, the plant has several 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 will be constructed to interconnect the plant to the Texas Gas Transmission LLC pipeline. The plant will utilize reclaimed water discharged from the nearby Morgan City Waste Water Treatment Plant, conserving treated water.
The plant will be equipped with an emergency diesel generator to provide for the ability to operate the facility without relying on other generating facilities or external sources of power, the release said.