DESRI, Entergy begin construction on 70MW Louisiana solar projects

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Renewable energy producer D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and Entergy New Orleans have started construction on 70MW of solar projects in Louisiana, US.

Upon becoming operational, the solar projects are expected to power more than 13,000 homes each year, according to the metrics provided by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In addition, the projects are estimated to create a total of 250 construction jobs.

The projects include the Iris Solar project in Washington Parish and St. James Solar project in St. James Parish.

Entergy New Orleans has signed 20-year power purchase agreements to purchase power generated from the facilities.

The projects are expected to support the electric and gas utility to diversify its generation portfolio.

Currently, Entergy New Orleans, which serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish, sources more than 50% of its energy from zero-carbon emitting resources.

A subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, the utility supplies electricity to more than 200,000 customers and natural gas to more than 108,000 customers.

Entergy New Orleans president and chief executive officer David Ellis said: “Our generating portfolio is among the cleanest in the nation and these solar projects are part of our ongoing commitment to delivering clean, reliable, and safe energy.

“These two new solar resources in combination with our portfolio will substantially increase the composition of energy supplied to our customers from renewable resources.”

Acadian Renewable Energy had initially developed the Iris and St. James projects, which are expected to reach commercial operation in mid-2021.

A syndicate of lenders consisting of Societe Generale as coordinating lead arranger, and CIBC and Truist Bank as joint lead arrangers have provided financing for the construction and operation of the projects.

DESRI, a member of the D. E. Shaw group, has 41 wind and solar projects that are either in operation or in construction.