Louisiana Civil Service Approves Cooperative Agreement of 1803

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) — The Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved a plan that commissioners say will increase competition among energy providers and usher in lower rates statewide.

The commissioners approved a group of five energy cooperatives, known as the 1803 agreement, which were to have their contract with the state renewed this year. Instead of keeping his same portfolio of energy resources, he offered to diversify into what he called a more reliable and cheaper source of energy. The new portfolio includes energy sources such as solar, hydrogen and natural gas from a new $740 million power plant in Iberville Parish.

“I think we’re going to get better, we’re going to get more sustainable, and we’re going to get cheaper,” said PSC Chairman Dr. Craig Greene.

None of the 120,000 customers of 1803 Cooperatives is located near Baton Rouge. Customers are largely concentrated east of Hammond, near Morgan City and Lake Charles, and in northeast Louisiana, but commissioners say the deal sets a precedent for future cooperation deals .

“That’s what it’s going to bring to Louisiana is competition, discussion, and once people realize your neighbor is getting much cheaper electricity, business picks up,” said Commissioner Foster Campbell.

A DEMCO spokesperson said the agreement was positive, adding that it paves the way for future agreements that would reduce costs for ratepayers. DEMCO has a similar plan that is currently being developed at the Public Service Commission and will be put to a vote at the end of the year.

CLECO and Entergy Louisiana opposed the deal, saying the energy resource portfolio is unreliable and, if it fails, will pass high costs onto customers.

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Virginia S. Braud