SAN FRANCISCO (June 10, 2013) – American Electric Power (AEP) today received Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) 2013 Edison Award, the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor, for the company’s completion and commercial operation of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant located in Hempstead County, Ark.
Starting operations on December 20, 2012, the Turk Plant is the first U.S. power plant to employ an advanced ultra-supercritical steam cycle. “AEP is being recognized for its distinguished leadership and for engineering and operating an extremely efficient power plant that utilizes the most innovative technologies to meet 21st-century electricity needs,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said.
A panel of former electric company chief executives selected AEP for the 86th annual award from a group of distinguished finalists.
AEP’s Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) committed $1.7 billion (the largest capital investment in Arkansas history) to construct the Turk Plant that now serves as a principal source of baseload electricity for the three-state operating region of Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. Throughout the course of the project, AEP surmounted major siting challenges and crafted solutions and contingency plans to maintain overall progress. The 600-megawatt plant was designed with state-of-the-art emission control technologies, and the ultra-supercritical steam cycle uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions to create the same amount of power as other pulverized coal-based power plants.
“The completion of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant represents the technological advancement that will enable the next generation of power plants to use coal with exceptionally high efficiency while producing extremely low emissions. It also reflects AEP’s commitment to fuel diversity,” Kuhn added.
AEP has long recognized that fuel diversity and technology solutions enable the company to use domestic and abundant coal more efficiently, minimizing customer exposure to volatile fuel markets.
Interestingly, the company previously won the Edison Award twice in the 1950s, including once for pioneering the use of supercritical technology, and again in the 1990s for developing a sustainable, environmentally responsible business model for coal-burning power companies.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Our members serve 95 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. We also have more than 65 International electric companies as Affiliate members, and more than 170 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate members.