Farewell AES, thank you; welcome OG&E
The biggest financial impact to ever affect SE Oklahoma and Western Arkansas was the state’s largest single private investment in the state until 2002 – the AES Shady Point Cogeneration plant.
The new coal-fired facility, which had the latest technology at the time, became and is the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the state and possibly the nation, until recent developments.
With the plant’s technology, this facility is capable of utilizing local Oklahoma coal, out-of-state Wyoming coal, tire chips, chipped railroad ties and other types of solid fuels and natural gas.
With the use of state coal and limestone, this plant helped to create approximately 700 to 1,200 direct and indirect local jobs that changed the economies of LeFlore County and the region like never before.
All of this economic impact was at risk with the AESSP power purchase agreement with OG&E coming to an end. But, with the diligent work of the people of AESSP, this plant was selected in the OG&E Request for Proposals as one of two winning bids and later approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission by a vote of 3-0.
If AESSP had not been selected as a winner in the OG&E RFP, hundreds of rural jobs would have been lost, along with many home and car loans with local banks also at risk due to possible job losses.
As members of the regions of SE Oklahoma and Western Arkansas, we owe the men and women of AESSP our congratulations of staying the course and working diligently in meeting the requirements and winning the OG&E RFP.
Thank you to our coal mining and limestone people, trucking and the many others who helped keep this plant running.
To the hard working people of what was AES Shady Point yesterday, and now OG&E today, thank you to each of you.
And let me also say thank you to the people of OG&E for helping to keep this wonderful asset operational and remaining a large financial impact to SE Oklahoma and Western Arkansas for years to come.
Lundy Kiger (Republican) is a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing District 3. Kiger was elected to the office on Nov. 6, 2018.