Brame Energy power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Brame Energy power station is an operating power station of at least 2412-megawatts (MW) in Lena, Rapides, Louisiana, United States. It is also known as Rodemacher power station, Madison 3; Rodemacher 4 (Unit 3).


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Brame Energy power station Lena, Rapides, Louisiana, United States 31.3975528, -92.7189806 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 2: 31.3975528, -92.7189806
  • Unit 3, Unit 3: 31.396889, -92.719078
  • Unit 1: 31.395, -92.71667

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating[1] gas, light fuel oil[1][2] 446[1] steam turbine[1] no[1] 1975[1]
Unit 2 operating coal - subbituminous 558 subcritical 1982 2028 (planned)
Unit 3 operating coal - unknown, fossil liquids - petroleum coke, bioenergy - wood & other biomass (solids) 704 circulating fluidized bed 2010
Unit 3 operating fossil liquids - petroleum coke, coal - unknown, bioenergy - wood & other biomass (solids) 704 circulating fluidized bed 2010

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Unit 1 Cleco Power LLC[1] CLECO Corporate Holdings LLC [100.0%]
Unit 2 Cleco Power LLC [30.0%], Louisiana Energy & Power Authority [20.0%], Lafayette Utilities System [50.0%]
Unit 3 Cleco Power LLC [100.0%]
Unit 3


Brame Energy power station is a series of plants that sits on 6,000 acres and uses man-made Rodemacher Lake as a cooling source for the plant's generating units. The lake covers about half of the site. The power station consists of the following plants:[3]

  • Nesbitt 1 - 440 MW unit built in 1975 and powered by natural gas.
  • Brame Energy power station Unit 2 (also known as Rodemacher 2) - 558.0 MW unit built in 1982 and powered by sub bituminous coal from the powder river basin.
  • Brame Energy power station Unit 2 (also known as Madison 3, first known as Rodemacher 3) - 703.8 MW unit built in 2010 and powered by petroleum coke, but can also run on coal and biomass as a back-up fuel source. Every year around 500,000 tons of limestone is added to the fuelmix.[4]

Cleco owns 100% of units 1 and 3 and 30% of unit 2; Power Authority and Lafayette Utilities System own 50% of unit 2,[3] and Louisiana Energy and Power Authority owns the remaining 20%.[5]

Unit Retirement Plans

On June 30, 2020, the Lafayette Utilities System held a public input forum about its Integrated Resource Plan for the future. One of the topics was retiring or converting Brame Energy Center unit 2 to natural gas by 2027. The plans are not final and subject to approval by the Lafayette City and Parish Councils, ratepayers, and joint owners and environmental and state regulatory agencies like the EPA and LDEQ.[6]

According to December 2020 reporting, the company pledged to close its coal-fired units at Rodemacher by October 2028 as part of coal ash closure planning.[7]


The plant began with a capacity of 998 MW: Unit 1 has a capacity of 440 MW and fueled by natural gas and low-sulfur fuel oil, and Unit 2 has a capacity of 558 MW and is fueled by coal from the Powder River Basin.[8]

In 2005 plans for a new unit were being developed to utilize circulating fluidized bed technology and burn petroleum coke and coal; the Shaw Group was running construction.[9] Lignite coal and Wyoming coal will serve as backups.

In June 2006, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued an operating permit for the project. The plant is under construction, and in May 2008 Cleco announced the project was on budget and expected to be in service by October 2009.[10]

According to the Sierra Club, Cleco Power will apply for approval with the Louisiana PSC to raise rates to cover construction costs.[8]

As of November 2009, construction of the third unit at the plant was nearing completion and expected to go online in December 2009. The new unit cost over $1 billion to construct and Cleco received approval in early November 2009 from the Louisiana Public Service Commission to charge its customers higher rates to recover the cost of building the plant. The third unit will burn coal and pet coke, but Cleco says it is investigating using renewable biomass to power the plant as well.[8]

In February 2010, the plant began operating. Cleco to use pet coke to fuel plant; Cleco said in the past Louisiana refineries have supplied nearly 400,000 tons of pet coke that have been delivered to and stored at the site.[4]

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that Louisiana, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[11] The report mentioned Louisiana based Big Cajun II Power Plant, Dolet Hills Power Station and the Rodemacher Power Station were three sites that have groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[12]

Coal Waste Sites

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (May 2023)". Archived from the original on September 18, 2023. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  2. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Regulated Power Plants", accessed July 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cleco La. Rodemacher 3 power plant enters service," Reuters, February 12, 2010
  5. "Introduction to the Integrated Resource Planning Process & Public Input Forum, page 42" accessed July 2020
  6. "LUS recommends retiring Rodemacher power plant from coal-fired operations by 2027", June 30, 2020
  7. "A Louisiana utility hopes to get more time to close its 4 coal ash ponds under a new rollback," NOLA, December 4, 2020
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  9. “Shaw Wins Contract for 600 MW Power Plant to Be Built by Cleco”, Goliath, September 23, 2005.
  10. "Cleco Corp. Posts 2008 First-Quarter Net Income of $22.1 Million", Market Wire on Yahoo! Finance, May 6, 2008.
  11. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  12. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.