Cleco prepares to enter MISO system, transfer plant

Cleco (NYSE:CNL) President and CEO Bruce Williamson said Oct. 31 that the Pineville, La.-based company is in the final phase of integration into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market by Dec. 19.

Williamson made the announcement during the company’s regular quarterly earnings call. Cleco posted 2013 third-quarter earnings of $66.4m, or $1.09 per diluted share, up from $63.8m, or $1.05 per diluted share recorded in 3Q12.

The Cleco CEO said testing and preparation is going well for the switch to MISO.

“During the quarter, we received FERC approval for the transfer of Coughlin Power Station from Cleco Midstream to Cleco Power,” Williamson said. Cleco Power is the company’s regulated utility. Cleco Power houses the corporation’s utility operations and assets, including 11,500 miles of distribution circuits, 1,250 miles of transmission circuits.

The Cleco Midstream assets currently include the 264-MW Coughlin Unit 6 and the 511-MW Coughlin Unit 7, two gas-fired generating units that both entered service in 2000.

“We continue working through the state regulatory process to finalize the Coughlin transaction and advance the request to extend our formula rate plan that includes the rate treatment for Coughlin,” Williamson said. “We remain confident we will successfully execute the final steps of this regulatory process by the first half of next year,” the CEO added.

On Aug. 1 Cleco Power entered into a 20-year agreement with the City of Alexandria, La., to provide capacity, energy and market participant services to the city. The contract involves a 30 MW capacity minimum; and is effective summer of 2015.

Cleco also recently signed a long-term power contract with Mississippi Delta Energy Agency.

On Aug. 16, Moody’s changed the rating outlook of Cleco Corp.’s and Cleco Power‘s senior unsecured rating to positive from stable.

Here is a rundown of the Cleco Power generation fleet with fuel source as outlined in the earnings presentation.

** Madison Unit 3 is a 641-MW plant that went commercial in 2010. Its fuel sources include petcoke, Illinois Basin coal, and it is biomass capable.

** Acadia Unit 1 is a 580-MW natural gas facility that came online in 2002.

** Dolet Hills is a 650-MW lignite and coal facility that is 50% owned by Cleco. Dolet went commercial in 1986.

** Rodemacher Unit 2 is a 523-MW unit is 30% owned by Cleco. It’s fueled by Powder River Basin coal and natural gas. It went commercial in 1982.

** Nesbitt Unit 1 is a 440-MW natural gas unit that went commercial in 1975.

** Teche Units 1/3/4 represent 415 MW of gas-fired generation that went online in 1953, 1971 and 2011.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.