Dolet Hills Power Station sits on a 30,000-acre site and went into operation in 1986. It generates 650 megawatts of electricity using lignite, a type of coal mined in DeSoto and Red River parishes. It is the only plant in the state fueled by lignite. Dolet Hills is co-owned by Cleco Power and AEP-SWEPCO. Cleco Power operates the plant and owns half, 325 megawatts, of the plant's generating capacity.
Lignite, a dark brown-to-black combustible mineral, is a natural resource formed over millions of years by the partial decomposition of plant material. It is mined by the Dolet Hills Lignite Company, a subsidiary of AEP-SWEPCO, which oversees and supports the mining operations. A 12-mile conveyor belt sends the lignite directly from the mine to the plant.
The plant partners with Headwaters Resources to find alternative uses for its ash, a byproduct of coal-generated electricity.