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Cleco receives industry award for storm assistance

PINEVILLE, La., March 21, 2012 - Today at the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) Spring CEO meeting in Washington, D.C., Cleco Corporation (NYSE: CNL) was presented with the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for its restoration efforts after Hurricane Irene and a rare late-October snowstorm that devastated electrical infrastructure in the Northeast.

The award is given annually to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process.

"Cleco understands the importance of being ready and able to provide assistance when a fellow utility is facing storm damage and its customers need service restored," said Bruce Williamson, Cleco Corporation president and CEO. "This is the sixth time in 10 years the company has been recognized for our storm response. Our employees have shown time and time again that they are always ready to step up and pitch in when people need help, even if that assistance is needed more than a thousand miles away."

Cleco Power crews traveled farther to provide storm restoration assistance in 2011 than in any previous year. They drove more than 1,000 miles to work with Delmarva Power and Baltimore Gas and Electric after Hurricane Irene, and more than 1,700 miles to assist Connecticut Light & Power in October.

EEI President Tom Kuhn praised Cleco's efforts. "Despite the geographical distance, Cleco was a first responder after two of the most damaging storms the Northeast had ever seen. Cleco represents what is best about our industry - the willingness to do whatever it takes to help customers, regardless of service territory, have their lights turned back on."

Cleco Corporation received EEI Emergency Assistance Awards for efforts after Hurricane Isabel in 2001 and Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. The company earned EEI Emergency Response Awards for restoration work after Hurricane Lili in 2001, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.

EEI is the association of U. S. Shareholder-owned electric companies, international affiliates, and industry associates worldwide.

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.

Media Contact:
Ann Jenkins
(318) 484-7129


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