The future of Louisiana depends on efficient, reliable energy infrastructure. This infrastructure network, also known as the power grid, begins with generating plants and includes transmission and distribution lines, substations and transformers. These lines are the “roads” that deliver electricity to our customers, and the substations tie the transmission and distributions systems together.
We're investing $4 billion to modernize and strengthen Louisiana's infrastructure to meet the growing needs of our residents and businesses for years to come.
Some of the improvements include:
Entergy Louisiana is committed to continuous improvement of its systems and services and using new technology to build a smarter grid. The first step toward modernizing and building a smarter energy future for our customers is transitioning to an advanced metering system -- or AMS -- for homes and businesses we serve. It's a system that allows two-way communication between us and our customers.
With AMS, customers will get more tools and better information to help understand and manage their energy use more effectively, which can lead to lower bills and potential reduction in energy use. We'll be able to identify outages more accurately, so crews can make repairs and restore electricity faster. Having near real-time information on energy usage allows us to better answer billing and service questions more quickly.
Upgrading to advanced metering in Louisiana will offer our customers the following important benefits:
Maintaining a diverse energy portfolio is critically important for our customers. Entergy Louisiana primarily uses natural gas, nuclear energy and purchased power to meet customers' needs. This level of diversity not only keeps prices as low as possible, but it helps to control emission output.
We're also looking to the future by pursuing new sources of emission-free energy for our customers. For example, we are currently seeking regulatory approval to purchase 50 megawatts of solar power from the largest solar facility planned for Louisiana. The plant, which is expected to be built near Port Allen in West Baton Rouge Parish, will be large enough to power approximately 9,500 Louisiana homes.
These new sources will add to the approximately 180 megawatts of renewables -- including hydro, waste heat recovery and biomass -- currently in our generation portfolio. We are increasing our environmental efficiency with each new project. The carbon dioxide emission rate of Entergy Louisiana's generating fleet is already approximately 30 percent below the EPA standard for new combined-cycle power plants. And it will only get better as new, cleaner sources of energy are developed.