Cleco Power seeks 800 MW of new capacity as of 2015

Cleco Power LLC has identified a need, through preparation of both a 2012 request for proposals (RFP) and integrated resource plan (IRP), for 800 MW of new power, said Cleco in a July 10 filing at the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

The 2012 RFP is being issued in conjunction with the 2012 IRP. The initial phase of the 2012 IRP (covering the 2015-2034 period) has identified needs for power and reliability with competitive pricing and fuel diversity. The need is for 800 MW of long-term capacity resources beginning no later than May 1, 2015.

Cleco Power anticipates the addition of a large power purchase agreement in 2015. Due to limited available transfer capability between Cleco Power and neighboring transmission systems, the 2012 IRP identifies reserve requirements needed to ensure reliable power for the utility’s firm load customers.

Cleco Power recently completed its 2011 RFP with the winning resource being a 730-MW, three-year (May 2012-April 2015) power purchase agreement with affiliate Cleco Evangeline LLC for capacity and energy out of the Coughlin Power Station. Cleco noted that the Cleco Evangeline offer also included an option, not taken up by Cleco at that time, to buy the Coughlin facility. But, separately from the deal for the three-year power purchase, Cleco is pursuing the Coughlin plant purchase. The company said the purchase of the plant must be the lowest-cost option offered in the 2012 RFP, with the 2012 RFP process to be monitored by outside parties for fairness.

Cleco Power currently owns 2,458 MW of generation, including 319 MW at the coal-fired Dolet Hills Unit 1 and 148 MW at the coal-fired Rodemacher 2. Significant changes from the last IRP in the 2012 version include the addition of Acadia Unit 1 (583 MW, natural gas as fuel), Teche Unit 4 (34 MW, natural gas), the retirement of Teche Unit 2 (33 MW) and a 30 MW derating of Teche Unit 3 (current 298 MW, natural gas). The company also has 20 MW of hydro capacity under contract through 2018.

The company’s forecasted peak power demand with planning reserves in 2015 is 2,953 MW, growing to 3,653 MW in 2034. All of the existing capacity was projected to keep running through the 20-year IRP planning period, though some scenarios had Teche Unit 3 and Nesbitt Unit 1 (422 MW, natural gas) removed from service in 2017.

Cleco Power is a unit of Cleco Corp. (NYSE: CNL). Cleco Power serves about 281,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and 10 communities across Louisiana and Mississippi through wholesale power contracts. Cleco Corp. also owns a wholesale energy business, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, which owns two natural gas-fired generating units at the Coughlin plant with a total nameplate capacity of 775 MW.

Coughlin, Cleco’s first unregulated power plant, is owned and operated by Cleco Evangeline under the umbrella of Cleco Midstream Resources. Coughlin began commercial operations in 1948, the Cleco Corp. website said. Employees and contractors more recently refurbished two aging units at Coughlin to help meet the growing energy needs of customers. Cleco Midstream purchased the plant’s assets from Cleco Power in 1999 after approval from state and federal regulators. The 775-MW plant is fueled by natural gas and uses combined-cycle technology to produce efficient and reliable power.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.