One story that you may have missed from the end of December was that SWEPCO’s John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant began commercial operations on December 20, 2012 in Arkansas. Located in Hempstead County, the Turk Plant is a 600-megawatt plant and is the first ultra-supercritical generating unit to go into operation in the U.S. Because of the technology built into the plant, it is able to generate electricity more efficiently at higher temperatures, requiring less coal and producing fewer emissions to generate the same amount of power as existing coal units.
“At Turk, we’ve deployed ultra-supercritical generating technology, and built one of the nation’s cleanest, most efficient pulverized coal generating plants,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and chief executive officer. “Turk will provide reliable, affordable power for our customers and project partners and will provide significant benefits for the area’s economy.”
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 for Southwest Arkansas.
Among the many environmental benefits of the the Turk Plant is that is uses low-sulfur coal and state-of-the art emissions control technologies, including a design that allows for the retrofit of carbon dioxide controls. The emission control technology enables the Turk Plant to meet emission limits that are among the most stringent ever required for a pulverized coal unit anywhere in the U.S.