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Dale Earnhardt Jr. tours the Turk Plant

by on May 13, 2013

The Turk Plant is a winner by all accounts, and now even NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. agrees.

Nick Akins (left), AEP president and chief executive officer, chats with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the coal yard at the Turk Plant.

(Story by Kacee Kirschvink)

Earnhardt toured the Turk Plant May 7 to see one of the cleanest coal plants in the nation. As the celebrity spokesperson for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Earnhardt said he has learned a great deal about the importance of coal and its role in keeping energy costs low.

“This time two years ago, I knew zero about coal, coal plants, clean coal. In the last two years, I have gotten a crash course and really what that means to the country, what that means to me, as a consumer and as a businesss owner,” Earnhardt said. “It’s really been a great relationship.”

Earnhardt was accompanied by AEP CEO Nick Akins, SWEPCO President and Chief Operating Officer Venita McCellon-Allen, Plant Manager Tim Gross, a large camera crew and numerous plant employees.

When asked by Energy Production Superintendent Andy Brannan if he had any questions, Earnhardt laughed and said, “I have so many.”

Throughout the day, Earnhardt was intent on absorbing all of the information provided to him. At the end of the tour, he met with more than 100 Turk employees and fielded questions about racing and what he does for fun. Earnhardt said he enjoys hunting, fishing and hanging out with friends.

Overall, he seemed to be able to relate to a lot of the folks in the room. He said it was neat to see all of the machinery and tools the employees get to work with everyday.

Employees at the Turk Plant pose for a photo with Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Photo courtesy of ACCCE photographer Nelson Chenault)

“I know you guys are working your tails off all the time around here, but it looks like a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s been great to come out here and visit the plant. It’s great for us as a company to be able to partner with somebody like Clean Coal and put together a message and get that message out there, raise awareness of what we’re trying to accomplish.

“It’s something I’m really proud of, something I would have never thought I’d get myself involved in, but it’s been really exciting, and I take a lot of pride in it,” Earnhardt added. “Thanks for having me as part of the family.”

According to ACCCE, the Clean Coal tour was designed to leverage the appeal of Earnhardt to both NASCAR fans and the general public, while providing a first-hand look at a state-of-the-art, ultra-supercritical coal-fued power plant.

Those on the tour would say that mission was accomplished, including SWEPCO’s president.

“We look forward to seeing Clean Coal in the winner’s circle,” McCellon-Allen said.

From → News From AEP

One Comment
  1. suemac3575 permalink

    It is great to see a member of the sports field be showcased in such an important venture. Thank you for sharing and for welcoming Dale Jr (88) to our business.

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