SWEPCO's high efficiency plant goes online in Ark.
The plant will have 109 permanent positions and an estimated annual payroll of $9 million.
HEMPSTEAD CO., AR (KSLA) -
Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) started on Thursday commercial operation of its new 600-megawatt power plant near Fulton, Ark.
The new facility, named for John W. Turk, Jr., who was president and chief executive officer of SWEPCO from 1983-1988, is the first "ultra-supercritical" generating unit to go into operation in the U.S. This means that the plant generates electricity more efficiently at higher temperatures, requires less coal and produces fewer emissions to generate the same about of power as existing coal units, the company announced in a release Thursday.
"Turk will provide reliable, affordable power for our customers and project partners and will provide significant benefits for the area's economy. I commend our employees and the business and community partners who helped make Turk happen," says Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer.
Construction of the Turk Plant began in November 2008, and the project provided up to 2,200 construction jobs at the peak of employment in May 2011.
The plant will have 109 permanent positions and an estimated annual payroll of $9 million. Turk will provide an additional $6 million in annual school and county property tax revenues in Southwest Arkansas.
The plant will serve SWEPCO retail and wholesale customers in Louisiana and Texas, as well as the ETEC customers. In Arkansas the plant will serve SWEPCO's wholesale customers – the cities of Hope, Bentonville and Prescott – and the AECC members. OMPA customers in Oklahoma also will benefit from the power produced at the Turk Plant.
The Turk Plant is located on about 3,000 acres between Fulton and McNab, Ark. Tim Gross is the plant manager. Fuel for the plant is low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.