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Turk Plant reaches significant milestone to commercial operation

by on December 10, 2012
On Dec. 6, the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant reached full load, producing 606 megawatts.

On Dec. 6, the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant reached full load, producing 606 megawatts.

(Story by Rachel Hammer)

At 7:49 p.m. Dec. 6, the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant reached full load, producing 606 megawatts (MW). This is a significant milestone as the plant works toward commercial operation later this month.

At the same time, Turk now is making history by operating in ultra supercritical (USC) mode. Turk is the industry’s first generating unit with USC technology.

“Reaching ‘full load in auto’ at Turk is the culmination of years of work by our internal and external stakeholders,” explained Bill Sigmon, senior vice president – Engineering, Projects & Field Services. “This accomplishment is nothing less than extraordinary given all the hurdles the team has overcome. The tireless efforts of the regulatory team, the engineering, construction and startup groups and the plant staff have been exemplary and reflect world class performance.”

Completion, check out, start up and commissioning efforts are being conducted by a cross-functional team representing the plant, construction, engineering and others. Efforts are being lead by Tim Gross, plant manager, Turk Plant; Andy Brannan, energy production superintendent – Turk Plant; Chris Beam, managing director – Projects and Construction; and Jim Zucal, manager – Start up and Commissioning.

Engineering for the Turk Plant began in October 2006. Site preparation began in early 2008 and construction began in November 2008.

USC technology is the most efficient steam cycle available today. Its increased efficiency requires less fuel than other coal-fired processes to produce the same amount of electricity. This means it also reduces reagent consumption (generally used in the unit’s environmental control processes), solid waste production, water use and operating costs.

The 600-MW plant, located near Fulton, Arkansas, is named for a former Southwestern Electric Power Company president and chief executive.

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