The Cleco Alternative Energy Center, which opened in 2013, is a five-acre, $12M R&D facility that supports numerous pilot R&D units. The Cleco Alternative Energy Center has supported projects funded from federal, state, and industrial funding sources. Over 20 industry partners have worked within this facility toward commercialization and optimization of their processes. The facility also houses a well-equipped analytical laboratory, a feedstock storage building (with bins), large pilot equipment operation bays (allowing for visiting units to be located), and an outdoor staging area. The Cleco Alternative Energy Center is supported by four full time staff members, six PhD students, and approximately twelve undergraduate students.
The EIL is also currently constructing a new six-acre Photovoltaic (PV) R&D park that will have a total power output of one megawatt with capacity to rotate in/out development PV test systems. Additionally, a fully equipped solar energy testing laboratory will also be constructed to support the new PV R&D park.
Selected photos of EIL pilot scale assets and supporting units are shown below:
A Solar-thermal Collector System:
Electrical Power Generator System from Solar-thermal:
A 3-ton/day Gasifier:
A 0.3-ton/day Torrefaction Pilot-scale Unit: