Entergy New Orleans Inc. has received permission from the utility committee of the New Orleans City Council to purchase 20 percent of the power from a proposed $721 million generating unit at the Ninemile Point power plant.

A final vote is required by the full council on Feb. 2.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission is reviewing plans for the natural gas-fired unit, which will be owned by another Entergy operating unit, Entergy Louisiana.

Entergy says the unit could produce fuel savings for Louisiana customers ranging from $26 million to $53 million per year _ and improve power reliability in southern Louisiana. The unit would replace two 1950s-era generators at the Westwego site that have been deactivated.

Entergy New Orleans has about 160,000 power customers in Orleans Parish.

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