Entergy broke ground yesterday on its Lake Charles Power Station, which is expected to be operational by 2020.

The facility will cost an estimated $872 million for the combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant.

The company projects to lower customers' energy costs between $1.3 and $2 billion over its anticipated 30-year life span.

Combined-cycle units, compared to Entergy's older gas-fired plants, can cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40 percent, according to the company.

Many state and local officials were on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony, including Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

"We are truly blessed by the tremendous amount of new industrial construction and economic activity centered around Lake Charles," Gov. Edwards said in a statement.

"In addition to billions in private-sector investment, we are embarking on several hundred million dollars of public investment in road and port projects. Our commitment to improving our infrastructure is critical and serves as one of the primary reasons investors are flocking to Louisiana. We're proud to support Entergy in this vitally important project to produce cleaner, more efficient power for residential and commercial ratepayers in Louisiana."

The impact from construction will be felt across the state, but the largest, of course, will be in Calcasieu Parish. The parish is expected to see $1 billion in new business sales and $282.9 million in new household earnings during the construction phase.

Around 700 will be employed directly on site during the height of construction. Once complete, Entergy Louisiana expects to employ 31 people full-time.

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