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CNL > SEC Filings for CNL > Form 10-Q on 29-Apr-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for CLECO CORP


29-Apr-2013

Quarterly Report


ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis should be read in combination with the Registrants' Combined Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, and Cleco and Cleco Power's Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements contained in this Combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. The information included therein is essential to understanding the following discussion and analysis. Below is information concerning the consolidated results of operations of Cleco for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and March 31, 2012.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Overview
Cleco is a regional energy company that conducts substantially all of its business operations through its two primary subsidiaries:

Cleco Power, a regulated electric utility company, which owns 9 generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 2,565 MW and serves approximately 283,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and 10 communities across Louisiana and Mississippi through wholesale power contracts and

Midstream, a wholesale energy business, which owns Evangeline (which operates Coughlin).

Cleco Power
Many factors affect Cleco Power's primary business of selling electricity. These factors include the presence of a stable regulatory environment, which impacts cost recovery and return on equity, as well as the recovery of costs related to growing energy demand and rising fuel prices; the ability to increase energy sales while containing costs; and the ability to meet increasingly stringent regulatory and environmental standards. Key initiatives that Cleco Power is currently working on include the completion of the AMI project, completion of the transfer of ownership and control of Coughlin from Evangeline, extension of its current FRP, and integration into MISO. These initiatives are discussed below.

AMI Project
In May 2010, Cleco Power accepted the terms of a $20.0 million grant from the DOE under the DOE's small-grant process to implement advanced metering technology for all of Cleco Power's retail customers. Cleco Power estimates the project will cost $73.0 million, with the DOE grant providing $20.0 million toward the project and Cleco Power providing the remaining $53.0 million. The grant program is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009. Advanced metering technology includes the installation of electric meters that enable two-way communication capabilities between a utility customer and the utility. At March 31, 2013, Cleco Power had incurred $67.4 million in project costs, of which $20.0 million has been reimbursed by the DOE. The installation of the advanced meters is expected to be completed in the second half of 2013. For more information on the AMI Project, see "- Financial Condition - Regulatory and Other Matters - AMI Project."

Power Supply Options/Coughlin Transfer from Midstream Cleco Power continues to update its IRP to look at future sources of supply to meet its capacity and energy requirements and to comply with new environmental standards. In August 2011, Cleco Power issued an RFP for resources to enhance reliability for January through April 2012 and selected and negotiated two agreements from the RFP, a power purchase agreement with NRG Power Marketing LLC and a tolling agreement with Evangeline. Both agreements began on January 1, 2012, and ended on April 30, 2012. In October 2011, a second RFP, seeking up to approximately 750 MW of capacity and energy, for a three- or five-year period was issued for supply starting May 1, 2012. Cleco Power selected Evangeline's proposal for a 730-MW product beginning May 1, 2012, and ending April 30, 2015. The definitive agreement between Evangeline and Cleco Power was executed in January 2012 and approved by the LPSC in March 2012 and FERC in April 2012. In May 2012, Cleco Power issued a draft RFP seeking long-term resources beyond April 2015. The final RFP was issued in July 2012 and proposals were received from potential suppliers in August 2012. On October 30, 2012, Cleco Power announced Evangeline as the winning bidder in Cleco Power's 2012 Long-Term RFP. In December 2012, Cleco Power and Evangeline executed definitive agreements to transfer ownership and control of Coughlin from Evangeline to Cleco Power. Cleco Power's application seeking regulatory approval is listed in the LPSC's Official Bulletin, dated April 12, 2013. Cleco Power is expected to subsequently file, in May 2013, its application with FERC seeking authorization to acquire Coughlin. The transaction is expected to close on or by April 30, 2014, following regulatory approvals by both the LPSC and FERC.

Extension of FRP
In April 2013, Cleco Power filed an application with the LPSC to extend its current FRP and to seek rate recovery of the Coughlin asset. Cleco Power requested in its application that the FRP extension be effective through June 2020.

MISO
Cleco Power's transmission system is heavily interconnected with Entergy's system; therefore, Cleco Power plans to follow Entergy and join MISO in December 2013. On December 6, 2012, Cleco Power filed an application with the LPSC indicating Cleco's intent to join MISO, asking the LPSC to find that transferring control of certain transmission assets to MISO is in the public interest, to create an accounting order deferring costs related to Cleco Power's transition into the MISO market, and to expedite treatment. The current procedural schedule anticipates a final order from the LPSC on Cleco Power's application by mid-year 2013.

Cleco Midstream

Evangeline
Evangeline was one of the successful bidders in Cleco Power's RFP for short-term 2012 resources beginning January 1, 2012, and began providing 250 MW of capacity and energy to Cleco Power under a tolling agreement through April 30, 2012. In addition to Cleco Power's RFP referenced above, in December 2011, Evangeline was also notified that Cleco Power selected


CLECO CORPORATION
CLECO POWER 2013 1ST QUARTER FORM 10-Q

its proposal to fulfill Cleco Power's capacity and energy needs as defined in the Cleco Power RFP for contractual resources beginning in 2012. The proposal was for a 730-MW product beginning May 1, 2012, and ending April 30, 2015. The definitive agreement between Evangeline and Cleco Power was executed in January 2012 and was approved by the LPSC in March 2012 and FERC in April 2012. Midstream was marketing Coughlin's capacity for periods beginning after April 30, 2015, and had been evaluating various options to optimize Coughlin's value. On October 30, 2012, Cleco Power announced that Evangeline was the winning bidder in Cleco Power's 2012 Long-Term RFP. In December 2012, Cleco Power and Evangeline executed definitive agreements to transfer ownership and control of Coughlin from Evangeline to Cleco Power. For more information, see "- Financial Condition - Regulatory and Other Matters - Generation RFP."

Comparison of the Three Months Ended March 31, 2013 and 2012

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