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Cleco Power system stable following controlled interruptions

PINEVILLE, La., Dec. 27, 2010 – Cleco Power LLC restored all customers affected by temporary controlled power interruptions required by its transmission reliability coordinator, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) this morning. The system is stable following the three-hour emergency. 

At 6:26 a.m. Dec. 27, the SPP directed Cleco Power to reduce its customer load in the Acadiana area by 54 megawatts to alleviate transmission line overloading. 

Cleco Power began the controlled power interruptions at 6:36 a.m. in New Iberia, Loreauville and Cypremort Point. This outage affected approximately 12,000 customers for one hour. Cleco Power system operators then shifted the outage to Patterson, Amelia and another area of New Iberia. This outage affected approximately 10,000 customers for one hour and 17 minutes. The SPP then requested another reduction of 18 megawatts, resulting in a controlled power outage in Crowley at 8:07 a.m. affecting approximately 4,000 customers for 48 minutes. 

As the transmission system began to stabilize in the third hour of interruptions, these customers were restored. At 8:53 a.m., an outage began in Berwick and Bayou Vista affecting 4,500 customers. However, all customers were restored by 9:24 a.m. when the SPP issued instructions to do so. 

“Currently, the system is stable, and we do not anticipate additional controlled power interruptions at this time,” said George Bausewine, chief operating officer of Cleco Power. “A power outage is inconvenient no matter what the reason, and we appreciate the patience of our customers during today’s record low temperatures.” 

The SPP issued the directive to protect the transmission system from overloading. Without adequate corrective measures overloading can affect a wider area and require longer periods of time to repair. The exact cause of this morning’s overloading is still being studied. 

In addition to Cleco Power, Lafayette Utilities System (LUS), Entergy, Louisiana Energy and Power Authority and Louisiana Generating LLC were part of the SPP directive. 

Cleco Power is investing $150 million in a joint transmission project to expand the infrastructure in the Acadiana area. Cleco Power, LUS and Entergy are working together to build new substations, transmission lines and capacitor banks in the Acadiana region. The project cost is $250 million total and is ahead of schedule. It is expected to be complete in 2012. 

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Cleco Corp. is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La. It operates a regulated electric utility company, Cleco Power LLC, which serves about 277,000 retail customers across Louisiana. Cleco also operates a wholesale energy business, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, which includes the pending sale of Acadia Power Station Unit 2. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Cleco Power serving Louisiana customers. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

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