Little Rock, Ark. — Aug. 12, 2013 — POWER magazine recently named the John W. Turk Power, Jr. Plant as its Plant of the Year.

The Turk plant is co-owned by American Electric Power’s (AEP) Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), East Texas Electric Cooperative and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

In its announcement, POWER noted that SWEPCO overcame numerous legal and regulatory obstacles to build the first ultra-supercritical (USC) power plant in the U.S. This technology allows the plant to operate at higher temperatures, making it more efficient, and resulting in lower emissions than other existing coal-based plant technologies.

“The Turk plant is crucial to our mission to continue to provide electric cooperative members with affordable, reliable electricity,” said Duane Highley, president and CEO of AECC. “The plant and its technology will benefit Arkansans for many years to come.”

The magazine’s Plant of the Year award is presented to a power plant that leads the industry in the successful deployment of advanced technology and maximizing efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. Typically, the winning plant has entered commercial service within one or two years.

“As AEP worked on the Turk Plant, I think we knew we were working on something special. But, the reality of this plant’s operation is surprising, even to us,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, president and chief operating office of SWEPCO. “The plant is more efficient than we contemplated. It is running at high availability, producing reliable, efficient electricity for SWEPCO customers.”

Turk is the only U.S. plant in operation using advanced USC technology. The technology provides a more efficient steam cycle. Resulting efficiencies are in the 39 to 40 percent range. This means that approximately 39 to 40 percent of the thermal energy in the fuel comes out as electric power. The plant requires less coal and produces fewer emissions to generate the same amount of power as existing coal units. The 600 megawatt Turk Plant was declared commercially available Dec. 20, 2012.

POWER Magazine is a leading information source for the power industry. It provides information on best practices, safety and improved productivity, as well as business, legal and regulatory news.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:
Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or