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Entergy solar panels are coming to Uptown’s streetcar barn

The panels will add more than 90 megawatts of solar power to the city’s grid

Three green New Orleans streetcars facing forward inside a station. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Entergy New Orleans has partnered with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority to install solar panels on the Carrollton streetcar barn, as part of Entergy’s ongoing project to harness 5 megawatts of power from commercial and publicly owned rooftops throughout the city.

Famously the starting point for Carnival season’s Phunny Phorty Phellows revelers, the 33,290-square-foot barn was built in 1840, though it wasn’t rigged for electricity until 1888. Entergy’s rooftop panels will feed 300 kilowatts of power directly to the city’s electrical grid.

Approved by the New Orleans City Council in 2018, Entergy’s rooftop solar project brought solar panels to warehouses near the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal earlier this year. That system will bring 2.5 megawatts of solar power to the city grid, according to Entergy.

Just last week, the City Council approved another plan put forth by Entergy, to build a $42 million solar plant in New Orleans East by late 2020. That plant, in addition to the company’s purchase of solar power from plants in St. James and Washington parishes, will add 90 megawatts to the city’s grid, according to the Times-Picayune–the New Orleans Advocate.

The plant’s construction will result in a $1.50 bump in ratepayers’ monthly bills.

The RTA is the first public body to partner with Entergy on its rooftop solar project. The utility hopes to identify other publicly owned buildings to expand its solar capacity; ideal spaces have at least 10,000 square feet of rooftop space on buildings no less than three stories tall.