New Power Plant Opens it's Doors

DELL (KAIT) - The gas-fired plant in Dell, went on line in the summer of 2007 and today opened it's doors for it's customers to take a look at how it works.

Under new ownership the Dell power plant is now on line and serving it's customers in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.

O.B. Clark, "By utility standards were not considered to be large but we appreciate the footprint that we've now established here."

Construction of the plant was begun in 2000 but work stopped in 2002.

Duane Highley, "August of 2005 Associate Electric bought the plant, we established a construction plan, and in august of 2007 the plant went commercial."

Over a hundred electric coop leaders, and local officials and guests took a tour of the plant on Thursday getting a rarely seen look at what makes up this somewhat unusual generating platform.

The plant has two GE jet turbine engines. Each one is capable of putting out 185 million watts of power. Jet turbine engines are not that unusual at power plants, its another step using the exhaust off the turbines which goes into a boiler.

Highley, "Those two recovery steam boilers then feed steam into this steam turbine so all that energy that would be vented into the atmosphere and wasted is captured in those boilers and recovered into this steam turbine to make additional about another 170 megawatts comes out here.

When all three turbines are up and running. The plant is capable of putting out 580 megawatts. In usage that provides enough power for a city around the size of Little Rock.

Besides jobs the area around the plant will benefit greatly. Under an agreement AECI will make periodic payments to Mississippi County, the town of Dell, Arkansas Northeastern and the Gosnell School District.

Stan Williams, Superintendent, "AECI has plans for a grant to our school this summer for 2 million 200 thousand dollars for construction of a facility and school improvement."

These grants will run over the next 30 years.

Williams, "The total of all these grants for these years will be over eleven million dollars. To the children of the Gosnell school district."

Although Arkansas is not a primary customer for the generating plant, through it's grid connections the electricity can be sold and sent anywhere on demand