Solar panels soon will fill some of the acreage where lignite was once mined in DeSoto Parish.
Cleco Power and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments on Wednesday announced their agreement to build a $250 million solar farm at the former Dolet Hills lignite power plant east of Mansfield. The plant closed in December and eliminated hundreds of jobs.
It's still uncertain how many jobs will be created with the 240 megawatt solar farm that will have an array of panels to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity.
Cleco communications director Jennifer Cahill said it's still early in the process and more details about construction, jobs and the economic impact to DeSoto Parish will be forthcoming. The field work is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2023 with an estimated completion time by the end of 2024.
DeSoto Police Juror Reggie Roe said the companies approached the parish about two years ago with plans for the solar facility. Then, he was told approximately 200 construction jobs may be created, but only a handful of permanent positions are expected.