Lake Charles Power Station
Entergy Louisiana's Lake Charles Power Station, a 994-megawatt combined-cycle power plant in Westlake, is a key element of our plan to provide the clean, efficient energy needed to power our economy and bring even more savings to our customers.
The natural gas-fired plant, one of the most efficient and cleanest fossil fuel-fired plants in Entergy Louisiana's fleet, began commercial operation on March 28. Projections have been that Entergy Louisiana customers could save between $1.3 and $2 billion over the plant's anticipated 30-year life.
The plant cost approximately $872 million to build including transmission and other project-related costs and contingency.
How Does a Combined-Cycle Plant Work?
A. Combustion Turbine Combined Cycle
A combustion turbine unit operates much like a jet engine, drawing in air and compressing it. The compressed air is mixed with natural gas and ignited, creating rapidly expanding exhaust gases. These gases move through the gas turbine blades, making them spin. The blades are attached to a shaft that drives a generator on the cold end of the turbine converting a portion of the spinning energy into electricity.
B. Heat Recovery Steam Generators
The exhaust heat from the gas turbines is directed to boiler-like equipment known as Heat Recovery Steam Generators, or HRSGs. As their name implies, the HRSGs create steam by using heat recovered from the gas turbine flue gases. This steam is piped to the steam turbine.
The remaining exhaust gas is directed through the 195-foot tall exhaust stack. Emissions are continuously monitored to ensure air quality regulations are met.
D. Steam Turbine
Steam generated by the HRSGs is used to drive a steam turbine that rotates another generator and makes more electricity.
E. Step-up Transformer
It steps up the generator voltage to transmission voltages and connects the generator to the grid, allowing the power to flow from the plant to thousands of homes and businesses. There are three step-up transformers, one for each turbine, installed at Lake Charles Power Station.
F. Cooling Tower
Cooling water, drawn from the existing onsite Sabine River Authority (SRA) pond, removes the small amount of remaining heat from the steam after it exits the steam turbine and is piped to the cooling tower where large fans move air to cool the water. The Lake Charles Power Station uses a closed-loop system where water is reused and only make-up water for evaporation is required from the pond.