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UPDATE: Cleco suspends mandatory outages to customers

Cleco makes changes to computer system, including payments
Posted at 7:54 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 23:00:48-05

UPDATE (10:00 p.m.): Rolling power outages announced by Cleco Power at 7:30 p.m. have been suspended by the regional reliability coordinator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

"MISO has directed us to end the periodic outages because the power shortage is no longer threating the reliability of the electrical power system," said Terry Whitmore, vice president of transmission services. "While we are no longer required to temporarily suspend power, it doesn't mean we won't be directed to do so again should the system become critical."

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Cleco has been notified by the regional reliability coordinator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), that extremely cold temperatures are causing an increase in demand for power which is resulting in an overload of the power grid. To help protect the stability of the power grid and prevent prolonged outages, MISO has instructed Cleco to reduce demand on the power grid by beginning periodic outages to customers across Louisiana.

"While our crews worked to prepare for this storm, a loss of generation combined with the peak load due to record-low temperatures have caused a strain on the power grid system. In an effort to prevent damage or lengthy power outages, Cleco was instructed by MISO to begin forced power outages," said Terry Whitmore, vice president of transmission services. "Depending on conditions, individual customers could experience multiple outages each lasting less than an hour until we receive notification from MISO that this is no longer necessary to protect the electric grid system."

Some actions customers with power can take to conserve energy include:

· Delay laundry, washing dishes, and other non-essential uses of electricity for conservation.
· Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
· Don't allow warmed air to escape from the home.
· Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
· Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees or lower if possible.

"We appreciate our customers' patience and understanding during this unusual time," said Whitmore. "We will resume normal operations as soon as possible."

For the latest information on Cleco power outage updates and restoration efforts, visit Cleco's Storm Center page at www.cleco.com or follow the company on Facebook @Cleco Power.

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