$9 Million in Congressional Funding Secured to Support Engineering Study


PINEVILLE, La. (April 11, 2022) – Cleco Power is investing in the development of a new, state-of-the-art carbon capture facility located in the heart of central Louisiana at the Brame Energy
Center. Project Diamond Vault, which will begin with a Front End Engineering Design (FEED)
study, will re-engineer Cleco’s existing Madison 3 plant to reduce 95% or more of its carbon
dioxide emissions through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology.


“Diamond Vault will bring Cleco to the forefront of environmentally friendly energy production,”
President and CEO, Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC, Bill Fontenot said.


“Our organization has been honored to work collaboratively with Louisiana Economic
Development (LED) to bring this innovative technology to our state through the FEED study,
which will ensure the advancement of the energy industry and support the health and well-being
of our communities,” Fontenot said.


Diamond Vault will be one of the first American projects to capture the existing CO2 emissions of
a power plant and sequester them in geological formations. Madison 3 already has low
emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates because of its use of advanced
combustion technology and pollution control measures. The installation of CCS technology
through Diamond Vault will ensure that Madison 3 remains a state-of-the-art solid fuel plant.


Diamond Vault is expected to create an average of 1,100 direct construction jobs over a three-year period and 30-40 new permanent positions. On a statewide basis, LSU economist Dr.
Loren Scott estimates that Diamond Vault, during the construction period, will create an average
of 2,900 jobs each year, inject $2.7 billion in increased sales and household earnings into the
Louisiana economy and produce $50 million in increased state tax revenues. Construction of
Diamond Vault is expected to begin in 2025 and commercial operation is planned for 2028.


The FEED study for Diamond Vault will take about 18 months to complete and is projected to
cost approximately $12 million. Cleco has secured a $9 million congressional appropriation to
be administered and disbursed by LED which will help to defray the FEED study cost. After the
study, Cleco plans to raise project capital funding of approximately $900 million through tax
credits, Department of Energy grants and private equity investment.


Diamond Vault was unveiled during a press announcement on April 11 and has been in
planning by Cleco with the support of political leaders and LED for more than a year. United
States Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. was instrumental in advancing the project through his
sponsorship of FEED study funding in the enacted 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
Cleco has retained expert assistance to bring Project Diamond Vault to fruition. Sargent &
Lundy, a Chicago-based global power and energy design firm, is serving as owner’s engineer.
Battelle, a private nonprofit dedicated to scientific and technological commercialization and
advancement, is advising on the characterization of geological storage capacity, permitting and
storage operations.


“Our customers deserve a world where anyone can access clean power. We invest in these
efficiency and optimization technologies today, so that our communities can experience a
brighter future tomorrow,” Fontenot said.