Cleco Louisiana 2023 Rate Case

Sierra Club
Project ongoing.

Synapse provided expert testimony and analysis to support the Sierra Club in reviewing Cleco Louisiana’s 2024 rate case. Synapse’s testimony focused on a review of the economics of Cleco’s two coal-fired power plants at the Brame Energy Center - Rodemacher Unit 2 Madison Unit 3. We also reviewed the Company’s capacity position, and its need for its existing generation assets.

We found that Rodemacher 2 has been uneconomic to operate for years and is projected to continue to be uneconomic to operate going forward. It is in the best interest of ratepayers to retire the unit as soon as possible. We also found that Madison 3 has also been uneconomic, is projected to continue to be uneconomic moving forward, and that investment in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology at the plant would be risky and speculative. We also found that with the expiration of the DEMCO wholesale contract, Cleco has excess capacity that should be retired.

We recommend that Cleco retire Rodemacher 2 as soon as possible and no later than 2026. We also recommend that Cleco remove from rates the portion of Madison 3 that was previously allocated to the wholesale customers and is now no longer needed to serve load. This capacity should be sold to another entity or transferred to an unregulated arm of the Company. Finally, we recommend that Cleco not use ratepayer funds or have any ratepayer backing for its proposed Project Diamond Vault, which involves the proposed CCS project at Madison 3.