Big Cajun I

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Big Cajun I was a proposed coal plant in New Roads, Louisiana. [1] In January 2011, the project's air permit expired and the company took no action to extend it.[2]


According to the Sierra Club, Louisiana Generating is seeking to replace two of its natural gas turbines at Big Cajun I with a 230 megawatt (MW) coal-fired unit. A public hearing was held on July 12, 2007. Construction is projected to take approximately three years.[3]

In April 2008, the Sierra Club and other groups filed a lawsuit challenging the Louisiana DEQ's decision to issue the air permit for the plant. The Sierra Club also notified Louisiana Generating of its intent to sue the company under the Clean Air Act for exceeding the maximum allowance for mercury, lead, and arsenic emissions.[3]

According to a Sierra Club update in July 2008, the lawsuit is still proceeding. Louisiana Generating has asked the court to review its ruling to stop any construction until the case is resolved and a hearing was scheduled for August 2008. On July 10, 2008 the Louisiana DEQ issued the draft LPDES/water discharge permit for the plant.[4]

As of April 2009, the Sierra Club lawsuit is still proceeding. Both parties' briefings were completed in March.[5]

In a January 2010 Sierra Club visit to the Big Cajun site, officials from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality noted construction had not yet begun on the new boiler due to 'legal reasons.'[5]

Project Details

Sponsor: NRG Energy
Location: New Roads, Louisiana
Capacity: 230 MW
Type: Circulating fluidized bed
Status: Cancelled


Citizen Groups



  1. “Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants,” National Energy Technology Lab, May 2007, page 14. (Pdf)
  2. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed February 2013. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed January 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  4. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed November 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)

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