Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Entergy
Thank you, Bill, and good morning, everyone. Today, we are reporting strong results for another successful year. Our 2022 adjusted earnings per share was $6.42 in the top half of our guidance range. This is the seventh year in a row that our results have come in above our guidance midpoint. Our steady predictable financial results are underpinned by our strategy to create value for our four key stakeholders, our customers, employees, communities, and owners. Our strategy starts with learning from our customers what they need from us to be successful, and then we build an investment plan to meet those demands. As a result, we are investing in our power delivery system to improve reliability and resilience, and significantly expanding our clean generation to support our rapidly-growing industrial load and the decarbonization goals of our customers. This customer-centric approach has delivered benefits for all our key stakeholders. We are confident this approach will continue to create meaningful value well into the future.
In 2022, Entergy's 12,000 employees worked every single day to deliver operational excellence, achieve positive regulatory outcomes, build the foundation for our long-term growth strategy, and drive improved affordability for our customers. Operational excellence begins with safety. In 2022, we made important strides recording the fewest injuries in our company's history, and the total recordable injury rate that ranked in the first quartile among EEI utilities. To achieve this result, we reduced total accidents including employees and contractors by 30%, and serious injuries by more than 50%. This is an improvement that we're proud of. Our work isn't done because we believe zero harm is possible. We will continue our relentless focus on keeping our employees and contractors safe all day, every day.
Entergy's operational excellence is consistently on display when we respond to extraordinary circumstances. We saw this recently with winter storms Elliott and Mara. Elliot presented unique challenges due to the extremely cold temperatures. In fact, we experienced some of the highest winter loads that we have seen including new winter peaks for Entergy Arkansas and Entergy Texas. Teams from across our organization collaborated to ensure that the system capacity and operating resources were maximized. Power availability was critical and our generation facilities performed extremely well buoyed by contingency planning improvements from weatherization investments made after winter storm, Uri. Not only were we able to meet the high demand of our customers, but we also exported power to nearby systems to help other utilities meet their demand. Our teams performed extremely well during both events, and for that, I'm very thankful. I'm especially proud that we had no injuries, ensuring that all our employees returned home safely.
River Bend Station, our nuclear plant near Baton Rouge began its refueling outage after 675 days of being continuously online. That's the longest run in station history. River Bend is an important -- it is important to the areas it serves providing safe, clean energy that our customers can count on, and tremendous support for our communities. During this outage, we will be making multiple equipment improvements to ensure long-term reliability of the unit, including replacement of condenser tubes and feed water heaters.
We also made important progress on our regulatory objectives. Starting with Texas, we received approval from the PUCT to build the Orange County Advanced Power Station or OCAPS. This new highly efficient CCGT will provide near-term benefits, including lower fuel costs, lower emissions, and expanding regional capacity to support growth in our Texas service area. The plant will be upgradable to enable future reconfiguration for hydrogen capability, which will increase fuel diversity and provide long duration storage in a carbon-constrained environment.
For Entergy Texas rate case, parties have progressed in constructive settlement discussions and reached a tentative agreement on key terms. The hearing was put on hold to allow time to finalize the agreement. We'll provide an update on the details when available.
In Louisiana, we received approval to recover the balance of Hurricane Ida cost using securitization. We worked collaboratively with our regulators to find a solution that met the needs of all stakeholders. The order determined that all of the costs incurred were reasonable and prudent, and Entergy Louisiana will fully recover those costs, which is vital for the credit of the company. While the commission approved our storm recovery, we want to assure you that we heard your feedback about the discussion at the meeting and the uncertainty in the process. To that end, we are continuously evaluating our stakeholder outreach practices. Our ongoing goal is a best-in-class stakeholder engagement approach that achieves alignment around important customer outcomes. We believe there is agreement with our regulators around our long-term goal to deliver what our customers need to be successful. Our customers are central to all that we do and we know we can continue to work with our regulators to improve our processes for the future.
Turning to the federal level. In December, we received an order on System Energy's uncertain tax position and sale-leaseback complaint. For the uncertain tax position issue, we believe that the FERC's remedy is clear. And as a result, no additional refunds are required. The remedy is important because the rulings of the IRS are now known, and the credit ADIT on a hypothetical basis under facts now known to be incorrect would be wrong. FERC's remedy also recognizes the customers benefited from our actions by more than $100 million in value including a $25 million refund made by SERI in 2021 consistent with the amount of ADIT allowed by the IRS and a separate $18 million refund for excess -- for excess ADIT also paid in 2021.
Meanwhile, SERI took on the risk of interest and penalties with the IRS to provide that value. Absent our actions, customers would have received nothing. And throughout the period of the issue, customers paid not one penny more than rates than they would have paid had SERI not taken the uncertain tax positions.
On the sale-leaseback -- Sorry, Siri is active on my iPad as well. On the sale-leaseback item, we are disappointed in FERC's conclusion, and we have sought rehearing of that decision. The lease renewal was a cost-efficient way to ensure customers would continue to receive access to reliable baseload clean energy from a diverse fuel source. And overall, the sale-leaseback saves them over $800 million. On January 10th, SERI issued $104 million in refunds required by the order. We have made our compliance refund report detailing that calculation. FERC will need to review our compliance filing and issue a further order. There is no statutory deadline for the order, but we hope to get FERC's decision soon. As a reminder, SERI refunded Entergy Mississippi $235 million in November as part of its global settlement with the Mississippi Public Service Commission, which represents Entergy Mississippi's 40% interest in 13 different dockets at the FERC.
We still believe the global settlement with the remaining retail regulators on terms similar to the agreement with the MPSC would be in the best interest of all parties. It would resolve disruptive litigation uncertainty for SERI and our stakeholders including our regulators, accelerate meaningful value to customers, avoid costly and unnecessary third-party litigation fees, and allow all parties to move forward with fewer distractions as we work together to pursue the important priorities and outcomes that our customers demand.
Moving on to our growth story. Our strategy is centered on two key aspects of our business that are critical to helping our customers meet their goals. First, expanding our clean energy footprint to support industrial sales growth and a growing customer electrification focus. And second, accelerating resilience and hardening of our system to improve outcomes for existing customers while giving new customers the confidence to invest in our communities. Our three-year $16 billion capital plan supports this strategy while improving reliability and our customers' experience. This capital plan also provides clear line-of-sight to our 6% to 8% adjusted EPS growth outlook as well as our credit goals. We are aggressively investing in cleaner energy to benefit customers and communities.
Of the $16 billion, close to $6 billion represents generation investments moving us toward a cleaner future. This includes investments in renewables, OCAPS, and nuclear. Today, we have just over 800 megawatts renewables in service, but we're still in the early stages of our renewables build out. Over the next three years, we plan to increase our renewable portfolio by approximately 4,500 megawatts more than 4 times our renewable capacity today, and that trend will accelerate beyond 2025 with plans for upto 14 to 17 gigawatts in service by the end of 2031. With this plan, we expect to achieve our 50% carbon intensity reduction goal in advance of our 2030 target as well as our new goal for 50% carbon-free capacity by 2030.
Our plan for accelerated resilience and hardening known as Entergy Future Ready is also important to reduce storm risk for our customers and other stakeholders. Last year, we laid out our $15 billion 10-year plan as expected to reduce storm outages, reduce future storm restoration costs, and provide a foundation for growth for customers who are dependent on electricity more than ever. Our three-year capital plan includes about $900 million for this work and more investment could be added to this plan once regulatory approvals are obtained.
We filed our initial resilience plans for New Orleans last July and our plan for Louisiana late last year, and we are targeting decisions in those jurisdictions by the end of this year. For Texas, we are supporting legislation that will allow for an accelerated resilience plan. We expect to make our initial regulatory filing in the third quarter of this year after legislative efforts are completed. We are targeting a decision from the Texas Commission sometime next year.
Of the $16 billion three-year capital plan, $7 billion represents transmission and distribution investments in addition to our accelerated resilience program to deliver improved reliability and customer experience through projects focused on asset renewals, enhancements, and grid stability. These investments are also designed to prepare the grid for renewables expansion and new customer connections. We're already seeing the focused distribution investments make a meaningful difference. And where we've implemented reliability projects, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of outages. Beyond driving important outcomes for our customers, our capital plan provides the foundation for our unique economic development and industrial sales growth story.
We continue to see very robust expansion plans from existing and potential new customers, and Kimberly will discuss the key drivers. Two recent clean energy announcements of note are an OCI project for a 1.1 million metric ton blue ammonia facility near Beaumont, Texas, and a Linde project to build a blue hydrogen facility, which will supply the OCI plant. The list of industrial projects that we are tracking represents an additional 7 terawatt hours of growth above our outlook through 2025. For our planning, we probability adjust the outcomes because we anticipate that not all of those will achieve operations, or they may show up on a slower timeline. With this backdrop, we remain confident in our longer term 6% industrial sales growth expectation consistent with what we laid out at Analyst Day.
Affordability remains a core tenet in our pursuit of greater sustainability and reliability for customers. Aggressively pursuing commercial and industrial growth is also important for affordability as it spreads customer-centric investments over a larger customer base. Beyond sales growth, we are supporting customer affordability by working to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. This will translate into benefits for customers. We've historically focused our continuous improvement largely on operating costs, but given the growing capital needs to support customer-centric projects, we have expanded our CI efforts to capital investments. To balance our customers' needs, affordability, reliability, and sustainability, we must ensure that we invest capital dollars as efficiently as possible.
Higher gas prices in hot weather challenged customer affordability this past summer. The good news is that natural gas prices have come down in recent months and that will improve affordability for our customers, particularly in Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans where their fuel clauses adjust monthly. We continue to work on behalf of our customers to pursue federal funding as a potential means to reduce costs, particularly for investments that accelerate the path towards a more resilient future.
To that end, we are pleased to report all five of our operating companies received encouragement letters to proceed with full applications for the first round of DoE's Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships program. All of our proposals are to improve resilience in disadvantaged communities. This round of program funding is expected to conclude this summer, and winning submissions will receive funding for half of their project costs. If we were successful on all five projects, the awards would total $190 million.
Finally, in 2022, shareholder contributions totaled $25 million. This included $10 million in donations for bill assistance programs. We also stepped up our efforts on energy efficiency and weatherization programs to provide long-term bill relief. Our impact for our customers and communities goes well beyond charitable donations. Our employees logged more than 110,000 hours of volunteer service. We helped low-income customers access $125 million in LIHEAP funding, and through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, we helped to place 12,000 low-income families on a path to economic stability by helping them claim $22 million and earn income tax credits. We are very proud of the work of our employees and our corporate social responsibility team as they provide critical help to strengthen the communities we serve.
2022 was another successful year for Entergy, yet we still have a lot of work to do. We are laser-focused on successfully delivering value for our key stakeholders. That includes executing the capital plan before us and laying the groundwork for the significant long-term opportunities in renewable generation, clean electrification, and resilience acceleration. It also includes improving operational outcomes, building alignment with stakeholders, reducing unnecessary noise and distractions, and executing financially to strengthen our balance sheet and maintain credit. All of this is foundational to achieving our 6% to 8% adjusted EPS growth plan and delivering important benefits to Entergy's key stakeholders, which will ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come.
I'll now turn the call over to Kimberly who will review our financial results for the year and our outlook.