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As the independent coordinator of transmission for Entergy Services Inc., Southwest Power Pool Inc. (SPP) has facilitated an agreement between Cleco Power LLC, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC and Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) to expand and upgrade the electric transmission infrastructure in south central Louisiana.

The joint project includes upgrades to certain existing electric facilities, as well as the construction of new substations, transmission lines and capacitor banks. The total estimated cost is approximately $200 million. Each utility is responsible for various components of the project work. All upgrades are expected to be completed between 2010 and 2012.

"Transmission constraints create higher levels of electric system reliability risk and can cause higher costs for electric customers," says Terry Huval, director of LUS. "These needed transmission system improvements will result in a more reliable and cost-effective electric service for the customers of all electric service providers in the Acadiana area."

The project will take place in an area the utilities call the Acadiana Load Pocket, which is south of Highway 190 between the Atchafalaya Basin and Jennings, La. Upgrading the interconnected transmission system will increase capacity, reduce transmission constraints and improve the electric service for customers served by all three utilities, according to SPP.

Although an agreement has been signed, the project will not commence until each party obtains necessary approvals.

SOURCE: Southwest Power Pool

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