Cleco Power (Cleco) and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), a leading renewable energy producer in the U.S., announce a long-term renewable energy off-take agreement. The Dolet Hills Solar Project includes a 240 MWac facility to be constructed at the recently retired Dolet Hills lignite-fired power plant in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana.
The Dolet Hills Solar Project supports Cleco's growing renewable energy fleet and follows the company's recent announcement of Project Diamond Vault, a major economic development and decarbonization initiative to build a state-of-the-art carbon capture facility at its central Louisiana Brame Energy Center.
"This solar project is another step forward in Cleco's journey to becoming Louisiana's leading clean energy company,This project continues our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint while affordably and reliably serving our customers."
-Bill Fontenot, President and CEO of Cleco Corporate Holdings.
Pending project approvals, Dolet Hills will boast one of the largest solar facilities in Louisiana and will represent more than $250 million invested towards powering approximately 45,000 homes. While Dolet Hills Solar is the first power purchase agreement between the companies, DESRI's portfolio in Louisiana will now total nearly 700 MWac in construction and contracted clean power projects.
DESRI is proud to deliver low-cost, clean, reliable power to Cleco and its customers from this landmark solar energy facility," said Hy Martin, Chief Development Officer of DESRI. Alongside our partners at Cleco, the project will provide local economic benefits to DeSoto Parish and the surrounding communities for years to come. In addition, the project will replace lignite-fired electricity with renewable power sited on reclaimed mining lands.
The Dolet Hills Solar Project is expected to deliver significant community benefits, including the creation of local construction jobs and tax revenue for the Parish. When asked about the project, DeSoto Parish President, Ernel Jones, stated "Cleco has been an integral part of the DeSoto Parish community for over 70 years and we look forward to our continued partnership. At the same time, we welcome DESRI and believe the Dolet Hills Solar Project will lead the way for future economic growth in our area.
About Cleco Power, LLC
Cleco Power is a regulated electric public utility that owns nine generating units with a rated capacity of 3,035 megawatts. Assets also include 1,335 miles of transmission lines and 12,152 miles of distribution lines. Cleco Power uses multiple generating sources and multiple fuels to serve approximately 291,000 customers in 24 of Louisiana's parishes through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Parishes served include Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Catahoula, DeSoto, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Vernon and Washington.
About D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments
D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and its affiliates develop, acquire, own, and operate long-term contracted renewable energy assets in the U.S. DESRI's portfolio of contracted, operating and in-construction renewable energy projects currently includes more than 65 solar and wind projects representing more than 6 GWac of aggregate capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $60 billion in investment and committed capital as of June 1, 2022, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.