A coal plant ans not the smoke. Solar energy does not have this.

Pineville-based Cleco Power is teaming up with a New York renewable energy firm to revive a shuttered DeSoto Parish coal plant as a facility that will generate solar power. Cleco said it has inked an agreement with D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments to transform the former Dolet Hills coal plant in Mansfield into a $250 million solar farm that can generate about 240 megawatts of power, or enough to provide electricity for about 45,000 homes. The company said in federal filings it hopes the facility will begin generating power by 2025, assuming the project is approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Cleco and Southwestern Electric Power Company, known as SWEPCO, shuttered the 650-megawatt coal plant in 2021. At the time, a Cleco spokesperson said the plant was no longer competitive enough to stay open. Though solar power has been picking up steam in recent years, it’s back in the headlines again as residents in Louisiana battle high electricity bills induced by rising natural gas costs. Cleco generated about 55% of its power in 2021 from natural gas and less than 2% from renewable sources. Cleco also announced a $900 million carbon capture project in April. “This solar project is another step forward in Cleco’s journey to becoming Louisiana’s leading clean energy company,” Cleco President and CEO Bill Fontenot said in a statement. “This project continues our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint while affordably and reliably serving our customers.” Cleco provides electricity directly to 291,000 customers in 24 Louisiana parishes and also sells power to local electric cooperatives, including DEMCO in Baton Rouge.

A short story but one that shows hope in electricity generation.

Coal plant to solar power
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