Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Ultra Supercritical Coal Power Plants

American Electric Power Co's Louisiana-based utility said its $1.8 billion Turk power plant in Hempstead County, Arkansas, has begun commercial operation, the nation's first ultra-supercritical coal-fired unit and one of the few coal plants currently being completed.  The 600-megawatt John W. Turk Jr. power plant is owned by Southwestern Electric Power Co (SWEPCO) and was built in about four years despite numerous legal challenges by local and environmental groups to stop the plant.

Turk uses an advanced coal combustion technology that burns low-sulfur coal at higher temperatures, which requires less coal and produces fewer emissions, including carbon dioxide, than traditional

Turk will supply power for SWEPCO's 406,000 retail customers in Louisiana and Texas, as well as about 400,000 customers of an East Texas electric cooperative.

In Arkansas, where the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed state regulatory approval allowing the plant to serve retail customers, Turk will sell power to SWEPCO's wholesale customers- the cities of Hope, Prescott and Bentonville - and the 490,000 customers of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.
SWEPCO holds a 73 percent stake in the plant. Co-owners include the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp, 12 percent; East Texas Electric Cooperative, 8 percent; and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, 7 percent.

The project was announced in August 2006. An air permit issued in 2008 was the subject of a number of court appeals. In late 2011, SWEPCO announced a broad settlement to end pending legal challenges to the plant's air and wastewater permits brought by the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Arkansas.  (Reuters, 12/20/2013)

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