AEP / Coal

Tale of two coal plants: Turk tackles emissions with cutting edge controls

The coal yard at the John W. Turk Jr. plant in Hempstead County, Ark. Photo credit: Darren Sweeney

The coal yard at the John W. Turk Jr. plant in Hempstead County, Ark.
Photo credit: Darren Sweeney

FULTON, AR — “S&P Global Market Intelligence recently visited two of American Electric Power’s coal-fired power plants. One was the 609-MW John W. Turk Jr. UPC plant in Arkansas, a modern ultra-supercritical advanced coal plant that started operating about four years ago. The other is the massive 2,900-MW John E. Amos plant that went online in 1971 — more than four decades before Turk.

Both plants, in very different ways, continue to convert coal intro electricity while navigating the complexities of state and federal clean-air regulations.

This article focuses on the Turk plant. To read the companion article about the Amos plant, click here.

A train stops at the John W. Turk Jr. UPC coal complex in rural southwest Arkansas, where it surrenders its black load to conveyor belts in the yard, where a smokestack belches steam, where turbines noisily spin the generator and where plant operators monitor what most assume is an age-old process common to the industry.

However, here at this 3,100-acre coal complex, new technology with advanced efficiency and emissions control measures set this 609-MW ultra-supercritical plant apart from its peers.

A tour of this sprawling plant, as well as the much older John E. Amos facility, both operated by American Electric Power Co. Inc., revealed the steps the industry is taking to abide by stringent emissions standards while cutting costs and increasing efficiency at a time when the economics of coal generation is increasingly under pressure.”

— Darren Sweeney, SNL Energy

link to full article

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