Jackson Parish to benefit from renewable energy project

Renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed. Sunlight and wind, for example, are such sources that are constantly being replenished. fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – on the other hand, are non-renewable resources that take hundreds of millions of years to form.

Fossil fuels, when burned to produce energy, cause harmful greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. Generating renewable energy creates far lower emissions than burning fossil fuels. Transitioning from fossil fuels, which currently account for the lion’s share of emissions, to renewable energy is key to addressing the climate crisis.

pattern energyOne such company which develops, constructs, owns and operates high-quality wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects worldwide is Pattern Energy, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and also has offices in Houston, TX.

On Tuesday, Mr.Emory Belton, Jr. of the Belton Law Firm, who is the legal representative for Pattern Energy spoke to the Jackson Parish Police Jury about their newest venture, the Southern Spirit Electric Transmission Project, and how it will benefit Jackson Parish.

In summary, the project will move wind and solar resources from west Texas into the Texas Power Grid and then into a converter station located west of Mansfield, LA where it is converted from AC to DC power. Through power lines, it is then shipped across Louisiana into Mississippi, converted back to AC power, and then shipped out to power plants across the southern United States. 

“What takes place is kind of like running a long extension cord across the state of Louisiana,” said Belton. “One that is about 700 miles long.”

This project has been in the works for several years now and is finally nearing the construction stage, which will involve the building of transmission towers and the running of lines that will cross Jackson Parish in its entirety from east to west. 

“We came through back in 2016 and met with local land owners whose land the transmission lines would cross”

According to Belton, the project will be of tremendous beneficial impact on Jackson Parish and especially on the residents whose land will be involved. 

“First of all the land owners will be paid handsomely for the right of ways (180 ft. wide), said Belton. “Also the ad Valorem  tax base for the parish will get a good shot in the arm and there will be jobs created as local help will be needed for temporary construction jobs and possibly even permanent ones with the company.”


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