City Council approves construction of controversial Entergy plant in New Orleans East

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 Thursday afternoon to approve construction of a controversial gas-powered Entergy utility plant in New Orleans East.

The $210 million, 128-megawatt plant will replace Entergy’s old plant in Michoud on Old Gentilly Road.

The council’s vote came after several hours of passionate testimony, including hundreds who turned out to speak out against the plant.

Supporters say it would allow Entergy to meet electricity demand during peak times to help reduce power outages.

But critics say Entergy should work with alternative energy sources, like solar and wind, instead of natural gas, which they say will come from fracking. They also say the plant will increase pollution and utility bills.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry was the lone no vote. Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell voted with fellow council members Jared Brossett, Nadine Ramsey, Stacy Head, Jason Williams, and James Gray to approve the plant.

Watch video of protesters in the council chambers Thursday morning: