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Arkansas Living February 2012 : Page 17

Turk Plant Challenges Settled and its operating unit, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an-nounced on Dec. 22 that SWEPCO had settled all legal actions brought against it by the Sierra Club, the National Audubon So-ciety and Audubon Arkansas related to the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant near Texar-kana, Ark. The settlement resolved all issues raised by the groups’ combined or individual chal-lenges to the Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit, the air and wastewater permits issued for the plant, as well as a complaint fi led at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC). Arkansas Electric Cooperative Cor-poration (AECC), which provides wholesale power to the state’s 17 electric distribution cooperatives, owns about 11.7 percent of the plant and was a party to the APSC complaint docket. The 600-megawatt coal-fueled plant, which is under construction in Hempstead County, is more than 80 percent complete and scheduled to begin commercial operation in late 2012. A MERICAN ELECTRIC POWER Duane Highley, president and chief ex-ecutive offi cer of AECC, said the settlement is good news for Arkansas’ electric cooperatives. “It is good news because it removes the uncertainty regarding the plant and its operation,” Highley said. “When it goes into service later this year, it will provide an important low-cost generation resource for Arkansas’ nearly 500,000 electric cooperative members. This resource, which will use a clean and highly effi cient coal combustion technology that is the fi rst of its kind in the nation, will help the cooperatives provide long-term electric rate stability for their members.” Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO pres-ident and chief operating offi cer, said, “We are proud to be building the Turk Plant, not only for the service it will provide our cus-tomers and the boost it is already giving to the Arkansas economy, but also because it demonstrates our commitment and ability to meet stringent en-vironmental standards set by federal and state regulatory agencies.” Among other things, the settlement calls for SWEPCO to contribute $8 million to The Nature Conservancy for land conservation in Arkansas and $2 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation, which will provide grants to support policy initiatives promoting clean energy resources and energy effi ciency measures. AECC’s portion of the settlement is estimated to be about $1.5 million. In addition to SWEPCO and AECC, the other co-owners of the $1.7 billion Turk Plant are East Texas Electric Cooperative with an 8 percent interest and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority with a 7 percent interest. • :LWKRXW KHDOWK FDUH FRYHUDJH&#0f; RQH PLVWDNH FDQ PHDQ ILQDQFLDO FDWDVWURSKH $5+HDOWK1HWZRUNV SURYLGHV D VDIHW\ QHW RI EDVLF
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Turk Plant Challenges Settled

AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER and its operating unit, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), announced on Dec. 22 that SWEPCO had settled all legal actions brought against it by the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas related to the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant near Texarkana, Ark.<br /> <br /> The settlement resolved all issues raised by the groups’ combined or individual challenges to the Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit, the air and wastewater permits issued for the plant, as well as a complaint fi led at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC). Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), which provides wholesale power to the state’s 17 electric distribution cooperatives, owns about 11.7 percent of the plant and was a party to the APSC complaint docket.<br /> <br /> The 600-megawatt coal-fueled plant, which is under construction in Hempstead County, is more than 80 percent complete and scheduled to begin commercial operation in late 2012.<br /> <br /> Duane Highley, president and chief executive offi cer of AECC, said the settlement is good news for Arkansas’ electric cooperatives.<br /> <br /> “It is good news because it removes the uncertainty regarding the plant and its operation,” Highley said. “When it goes into service later this year, it will provide an important low-cost generation resource for Arkansas’ nearly 500,000 electric cooperative members. This resource, which will use a clean and highly effi cient coal combustion technology that is the fi rst of its kind in the nation, will help the cooperatives provide longterm electric rate stability for their members.” <br /> <br /> Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO president and chief operating offi cer, said, “We are proud to be building the Turk Plant, not only for the service it will provide our customers and the boost it is already giving to the Arkansas economy, but also because it demonstrates our commitment and ability to meet stringent environmental standards set by federal and state regulatory agencies.”<br /> <br /> Among other things, the settlement calls for SWEPCO to contribute $8 million to The Nature Conservancy for land conservation in Arkansas and $2 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation, which will provide grants to support policy initiatives promoting clean energy resources and energy effi ciency measures. AECC’s portion of the settlement is estimated to be about $1.5 million.<br /> <br /> In addition to SWEPCO and AECC, the other co-owners of the $1.7 billion Turk Plant are East Texas Electric Cooperative with an 8 percent interest and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority with a 7 percent interest.<br />

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