- Toledo Bend is the largest man-made body of water in the South. The
lake covers 205,000 acres, is 15 miles across at its widest point, and
has 1,264 miles of shoreline.
- The reservoir was created in the early 1960s when three utilities
guaranteed the bonds for construction of the dam and generating complex
at a cost of $70 million. The hydro plant consists of two 45-megawatt
- At that time Gulf States Utilities Company and Louisiana Power and
Light Company (which later merged and became Entergy) and Cleco came
together for the project. The hydro plant is the only such facility
built without federal funds.
- The primary purpose of the Toledo Bend reservoir is:
- Power generation
- Flood control
The tourism industry that has developed because of the reservoir
is a formnate result stemming from the hydro plant.
- Entergy and Cleco signed a long-term power agreement and pay fixed
annual fees. By contract, Entergy gets 75 percent of the power generated
and Cleco gets 25 percent. In addition to the fixed fees, Entergy and
Cleco also pay for the cost of the energy they buy, Current cost is
$21 a megawatt, which includes the fixed fees and enegy fees.
- Entergy and Cleco also pay $21 a megawatt during cool months when
prices on the open energy market can he half that price.
- This is a take or pay contract. If the utilities don't take generation,
they pay the SRA, then pay another power supplier for the same capacity
and energy. This cost would be passed on to customers through the fuel
adjustment. The Louisiana Public Service Commission has indicated it
would not be favorable to ceasing generation under current conditions
because of the possible negative impact on customers statewide.
- The record heat in Louisiana, the severe drought, record demands on
Entergy and Cleco systems (and others in the South and nation) and unprecedented
national market prices made it imperative that the utilities could count
on generation from the hydro plant. The transmission grid was so tight
this summer that at times the utilities could not have purchased and
transported electricity from the open market even if they'd wanted to.
The cost of replacement power makes it cost-prohibitive as well.
- As demand for electricity allowed during the summer, Entergy and Cleco
decreased generation by 30 percent in an effort to help the situation.
We can not predict whether the situation in the future will allow for
this during the peak period.
- Contractually, the lake can be drawn down to 162.2 feet (the minimum
depth in which the turbines can operate at the hydro plant). Entergy
and Cleco in no way directly controls the draw down of the water level,
as stipulated in the Power Sales Agreement contract. It is clearly the
responsibility of the Sabine River Authority. The plant is operated
by Entergy and overseen by the Sabine River Authorities in Louisiana
and Texas. Any decisions made on this issue would have to be agreeable
to the Sabine River Authority in Texas as well.
- Both utilities are very concerned about this issue. We understand
the importance the lake plays in tourism and economic development in
this area and the state. We have made it a top priority and have been
meeting with principal players to explore options that would satisfy
the homeowners and businesses around the lake, the utilities and Sabine
This fact sheet is provided to you by Entergy and Cleco for informational