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Cleco makes initial filing to join MISO

PINEVILLE, La., Dec. 7, 2012 - Cleco Power (Cleco), the regulated utility of Cleco Corporation (NYSE: CNL), made its first official filing that starts the company down a strategic path to join the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or MISO.

By filing a change of control request with the Louisiana Public Service Commission, Cleco is requesting to become part of a regional transmission organization (RTO) that manages one of the largest electric markets in the nation. MISO has a developed market that will produce benefits for Cleco customers through increased reliability and more efficient dispatch of generation.

"As our market structure changes, Cleco is positioned well to participate in MISO, known for the value it creates for its members and their customers through strict market oversight," said Bruce Williamson, president and CEO of Cleco Corporation. "Cleco's fleet is environmentally sound, well maintained and should perform well under MISO's operating guidelines. MISO's focus on maintaining viable generation in its market and its experience in planning and operating the transmission grid will create efficiencies for our customers and ensure their power needs are met for years to come."

If approved, the change of control will facilitate Cleco's transfer of functional control of certain transmission assets to MISO that includes transmission planning and congestion management. MISO also would dispatch generation within Cleco's balancing area. Cleco will retain ownership of its transmission and generation assets and maintain responsibility for local system reliability planning.

"Our proposal is to join MISO in January 2014," said Williamson. "Being a member of MISO will accentuate the strength of Cleco's core assets and will continue the high level of reliability from efficiently produced power that our customers have received for more than 75 years." 

Cleco Corporation is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La.  Cleco owns a regulated electric utility company, Cleco Power LLC, which owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 2,524 megawatts and serves approximately 281,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and 10 communities across Louisiana and Mississippi through wholesale power contracts.  Cleco also owns a wholesale energy business, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, which owns two natural gas-fired generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 775 megawatts.  For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

In this press release, and from time to time, Cleco Corporation makes certain forward-looking statements about future results and circumstances, including, without limitation, statements regarding future earnings, capital expenditures, project completion dates and total shareholder return, with respect to which there are many risks and uncertainties.  Although Cleco believes that expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, Cleco can give no assurances that these expectations will prove to be correct or that other benefits anticipated in the forward-looking statements will be achieved.  For a discussion of risk factors and other factors that may cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in its forward-looking statements, please refer to the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and 2012 Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Analyst Contact:        
Tom Miller
(318) 484-7642

Media Contact:
Robbyn Cooper
(318) 484-7136

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