Merger of 2 Louisiana Entergy Utilities Requested

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Entergy Louisiana LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC have asked the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission to merge into a single utility.

Entergy Louisiana services New Orleans suburbs north to Monroe. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana services customers from Baton Rouge west to the Texas state line.

Entergy Louisiana President and Chief Executive Officer Phillip May said Wednesday the move would allow the companies to make the necessary investments in the state's utility infrastructure.

Ted Griggs with The Advocate reports by 2019 the two companies expect an increase of up to 1,600 megawatts in industrial demand. Both utilities expect to invest more than $5 billion in the state's electric infrastructure by 2019.

According to Entergy officials, if the deal closes in 2015, it could produce up to $128 million in customer benefits over the next decade. Combining the companies, they say, would spread those costs among all customers, minimizing increases in their bills.

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