Calpine makes first $250,000 payment to parish

Pictured above, left to right, are Public Service Commissioner Erik Skrmetta, Sheriff Randy Seal, Parish President Richard Thomas, Jr., David Johnson, V. P. Customer Service Entergy Louisiana, Brian Moddelmog, V.P. Origination Calpine Corporation, presenting the initial payment of $250,000 to Washington Parish.

Washington Parish Energy Center One, LLC (WPEC) and Calpine Corporation, owners of a power station on property located at 18400 Bennett Road in Ward 4 of Washington Parish, recently entered into a proposal with Entergy Louisiana, LLC for the demolition of the existing power plant, transfer of property and construction of a new natural-gas fired power plant.

The power plant originally constructed by WPEC/Calpine was never placed into commercial operation due to economic conditions and it is now obsolete. Acknowledging that the new project may qualify for parish tax exemption, and with WPEC/Calpine desiring to mitigate the financial impact an Industrial Tax Exemption would have on Washington Parish, they have agreed to pay $250,000 each year during construction and then one million dollars when the project is complete, and the property transferred to Entergy Louisiana.

These funds will be distributed annually to each taxing agency in the parish with millages levied within the assessed area WPEC is located, based on their millage and taxable assessed property values.

In a statement, Parish President Richard Ned Thomas said, "With transparency being a priority in my administration at Washington Parish Government, I feel it is necessary to keep the public informed of this agreement between Calpine and the agencies involved."