Two Coal Plant Retirements Mark Big Step Forward for Louisiana

Entergy Must Do More to Invest in Renewable Energy

NEW ORLEANS, La. — After years of dedicated work, clean air advocates in Louisiana scored a victory with the approved retirements of two large coal-fired power plants. Yesterday, the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted to approve Entergy Louisiana’s long-range energy plan, known as an Integrated Resource Plan. The IRP includes the retirements of Big Cajun 2 Unit 3 in 2025 and RS Nelson Unit 6 in 2028. These are the 378th and 379th coal plants to announce a retirement since the start of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. 

Retiring two dirty coal plants is a win for people in the region who’ve experienced decades of environmental injustice and negative health impacts. RS Nelson Unit 6 is located in Calcasieu Parish, where 15.4 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Big Cajun 2 Unit 3 is located in Pointe Coupee Parish outside Baton Rouge, a 57 percent Black community that has long been forced to breathe polluted air.

Sierra Club’s “Louisiana Coal to Clean Energy” report found that retiring Louisiana’s remaining coal plants and replacing them with clean energy such as wind and solar would not only reduce harmful emissions but would also save money for Louisiana residents and businesses. Entergy’s own unit deactivation studies have shown that consumers will be better off if RS Nelson Unit 6 and Big Cajun 2 Unit 3 are retired as soon as possible.

In Response, Emma Hopkins, Field Organizer for the Sierra Club in Louisiana, Released the Following Statement: 

“The people of Louisiana will save money and see a healthier, safer future with the retirements of the RS Nelson Unit 6 and Big Cajun 2 Unit 3 coal-fired power plants. Kudos to the community members and activists who have spent years putting pressure on Entergy to reexamine its costs and energy mix.

“We celebrate Entergy’s decision to retire these units and we ask the company to go further. Economic analyses show that even earlier retirements for RS Nelson Unit 6 and Big Cajun 2 Unit 3 would bring greater customer savings and environmental benefits. We also urge Entergy to take proactive steps to secure resources to replace its aging coal-fired power plants with renewable energy rather than gas generation, which causes significant environmental impacts and is more susceptible to price volatility. Entergy must take full advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes clean energy alternatives even more affordable. 

“Entergy must do better for the people of Louisiana by retiring its coal plants as early as possible, stopping dependence on gas, and investing in renewable energy and storage resources when retiring fossil fuel-powered units.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit