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Cleco to strengthen reliability with construction of new storm-hardened transmission line

PINEVILLE, La. – July 31, 2018 – To strengthen power service reliability for customers in southeast Louisiana, Cleco Power began construction this month on a 12-mile, storm-hardened transmission line from Amelia, La. to its Bayou Vista substation. 

“This project is unique as the line crosses four major waterways, meaning we’re relying extensively on helicopters and marsh equipment to get our work done,” said Lance Speer, Cleco senior engineer and construction manager for the project. “Included in that terrain are two islands, Avoca Island and Bateman Island, which have no road access.”

Cleco’s new line includes 101 new steel transmission structures with the majority of these structures ranging in height from 80- to 110-feet, which is nearly triple the size of the average utility pole. The largest of Cleco’s structures will be approximately 239-feet tall, the equivalent of a 22-story building, in order for the line to cross the Atchafalaya River. The line also is crossing three other major waterways: Bayou Shaffer, Bayou Boeuf and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

“There are currently 11 substations in the area where the line will be routed - seven belong to Cleco, and four to neighboring utilities. All 11 of these substations are currently served from two lines,” said Chris Thibodeaux, Cleco manager of transmission strategy and support. “This project adds a third source into that area midway between the 11 substations, therefore strengthening reliability along the Louisiana Gulf Coast region.”

Thibodeaux continued, “When the project is completed, the line will be able to withstand winds up to 120 mph.”

Additionally, the new transmission line is designed to help protect the structures should debris fly or blow into the line which significantly lessens the potential for structural damage and speeds up the restoration process.

The project will cost approximately $62 million, which includes the construction of the line and power for lights on the water-crossing structures, as well as the expansion of Cleco’s Bayou Vista substation.

Following completion of construction and successful performance testing, the line and equipment are expected to be placed into service in mid-2019.

For more project updates, follow Cleco on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ClecoPower or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/cleco.

Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC is a regional energy company that conducts substantially all of its business operation through its primary subsidiary, Cleco Power. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 3,310 MWs and serves approximately 290,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi.  For more information about Cleco, visit us at www.cleco.com. 

Media Contact:

Jennifer Cahill


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