The Future of Coal
The 600-MW John W. Turk, Jr., Power Plant in southwestern Arkansas exemplifies our commitment to the responsible use of coal as a fuel source.
Our decision to build the 600-MW John W. Turk, Jr., Power Plant, in southwestern Arkansas, is a testament to our continued commitment to the responsible use of coal. The plant, which began commercial operation in late 2012, is the first coal-fueled plant AEP has built and operated in more than two decades. It represents the future of coal-based technology that we continue to advance.
The Turk Plant is the only operating power plant to use ultra-supercritical technology in the United States and is one of the nation’s cleanest, most efficient pulverized coal plants. As a significant addition to the generating fleet along with new natural gas units, this plant allows Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCo) to continue its strategy of fuel diversity that has benefited its customers for decades.
The Turk Plant faced a variety of regulatory and legal challenges as well as an anti-coal grassroots campaign before finally being able to start operation. The plant created 109 new, permanent jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $9 million. SWEPCo owns 73 percent of the plant’s capacity and operates the facility; co-owners are Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., East Texas Electric Cooperative and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.
The importance of the Turk Plant to the nation’s fleet of coal-fueled power plants was recognized in 2013 with the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) 2013 Edison Award. It is the electric power industry's most prestigious honor. The award recognizes AEP 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.