Insights > Entergy Arkansas well prepared to power the future
Entergy Arkansas well prepared to power the future
Diverse portfolio of resources and comprehensive resource planning help ensure reliability for years
Decades of planning and resource additions are positioning Entergy Arkansas well in the transition of its power generation portfolio – efforts that will ensure continued reliable, affordable and sustainable electric service well into the future.
In 2028 and 2030, Entergy Arkansas will cease to burn coal at its two coal plants, White Bluff in Redfield and Independence in Newark, as required by a federal consent decree. Currently, these coal plants are co-owned and operated by Entergy Arkansas and provide 14% of our total energy supply. Entergy Arkansas is already planning for their replacements to come online over the next few years.
Next year (2024) Entergy Arkansas will bring three additional solar power facilities online: West Memphis (180MW), Driver (250 MW) and Walnut Bend (100MW). Two additional solar additions will join the fleet in 2025: long-term power purchase agreements with the Flat Fork (200 MW) and Forgeview (200 MW) solar facilities.
“We want to assure our customers and all of our stakeholders that we are indeed prepared and ready to cease burning coal at our facilities when the legal deadlines arrive in 2028 and 2030,” said William Cunningham, Entergy Arkansas’ director of resource planning and market operations. “Our ongoing commitment to clean energy sources positions us extremely well to continue providing affordable and reliable energy for Arkansans well into the future.”
Entergy Arkansas has a robust Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which takes into consideration all reasonable resources for meeting customers’ needs, including both traditional and green energy sources, along with expected supply and demand. The current 20-year IRP looks at various statistical data, energy efficiency tools, industrial versus residential usage and many other metrics to forecast how we can continue providing energy to serve our customers affordably, reliably and sustainably. The IRP is regularly updated based on revised models, stakeholder engagement and available data.
Entergy Arkansas’ projected generation mix reflects an increase in solar and wind generation. By 2030, 88% of Entergy Arkansas’ generation is projected to be clean, comprised of nuclear, solar, wind and hydro power.
“Our resource planning efforts are heavily focused on ensuring that we have multiple sources of power upon which we can rely at any time,” said Cunningham. “We plan for the annual and seasonal peaks while accounting for the expected output of projected resources throughout the year. By securing adequate power supply for seasons of peak energy usage and accounting for resource availability and output, we ensure that we are always ready to meet the needs of our customers throughout the state, no matter what circumstances may arise.”
Nuclear power from Arkansas Nuclear One near Russellville and the Grand Gulf nuclear facility in Mississippi provides nearly 65% of the power served to Entergy Arkansas customers, while solar and hydro power provide more than 3%. These levels are significantly more than the national average. The chart below indicates the respective percentages of energy derived from natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, hydro and demand response resources for EAL customer needs during the most recent period, 2022:
In addition to having a diversified portfolio, Entergy Arkansas is also well-positioned with most of its generation resources being physically located in the state, along with its membership in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), an independent, not-for-profit regional transmission organization that is responsible for administering the transmission system and power markets used to deliver safe, cost-effective electric power across 15 U.S. states and parts of Canada.
Entergy Arkansas’ rates are consistently lower than national averages. We continue to invest in the modernization and resiliency of our grid, and we are a leader in providing reliable, affordable, and sustainable power to our customers.
Cunningham said Entergy Arkansas will continue modernizing and strengthening our power grid in a thoughtful way that balances affordability, reliability and sustainability.
“We have a plan to do this by expanding our clean energy generation while reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero and partnering with our customers on innovative energy solutions to help them meet their desired outcomes,” he said.
“For 110 years, our company has worked to meet the power needs of our businesses, communities and customers. We take pride in providing the most reliable power as possible. We will continue to invest in a diverse mix of generating resources to ensure that we have sufficient power to meet the growing needs of our state with reliable, affordable, and sustainable electric service. These energy solutions will deliver many benefits and create value for all our stakeholders for many years to come.”