[SLIDESHOW] A Decade of POWER’s Plant of the Year Winners

A showcase of winners of POWER magazine’s highest accolade over the past decade (2017 to 2006). If you think your plant or project compares to these winners, submit a nomination form for the 2017 Plant of the Year or Top Plant awards to POWER‘s editors before the April 13 deadline.

POWER magazine, which turned 135 years old this year, has honored the top performers in the electricity generating industry for more than four decades. Facilities recognized by POWER‘s Plant of the Year and Top Plant awards have typically distinguished themselves by implementing innovative design or engineering upgrades, producing power more reliably or economically than comparable plants, or demonstrating a new generation or environmental controls technology.

To recognize achievements catering to recent shifting priorities in the business and technology of power generation, POWER also now recognizes projects that creatively solve problems, demonstrate leadership in water/wastewater stream management, and use outstanding data-rich technologies—via the Reinvention Award (previously Marmaduke Award), Water Award, and Smart Grid Award.

The application deadline for 2018 awards is April 13, 2018. Use the links below to download nomination forms for 2018. All nominated projects must be in commercial operation by the nomination deadline of April 13, 2018. For more information or to see former Top Plant award winners, see our POWER Awards page. 

Here, we showcase winners of our highest accolade, Plant of the Year, over the past decade (2017 to 2006).

<strong>2017—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/capturing-carbon-and-seizing-innovation-petra-nova-is-powers-plant-of-the-year/">NRG Energy and JX Nippon’s Petra Nova Carbon Capture Facility</a></strong> <br><br> Petra Nova, the  U.S.’s first and world’s largest commercial post-combustion carbon capture system at a power plant, is distinctively both a globally significant environmental breakthrough and a trailblazing revenue-generating facility. Putting this $1 billion project online on time and on budget—despite a chaotic policy climate and other challenges that sank similar projects—was a top priority for its investor-owned owners and project partners.
<strong>2016—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/dusseldorfs-lausward-power-plant-fortuna-unit-wins-powers-highest-award/">Dusseldorf's Lausward Power Plant Fortuna Unit</a></strong> <br><br> Düsseldorf’s new “Block Fortuna” at the Lausward Power Plant, owned by municipal utility Stadtwerke Düsseldorf, is setting records and giving Germany’s coal-fired power plants some much-needed competition for backing up the nation’s large percentage of variable renewable power. <strong>2015—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/saskpowers-boundary-dam-carbon-capture-project-wins-powers-highest-award/">SaskPower's Boundary Dam Carbon Capture Project</a></strong>
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Boundary Dam Power Station Unit 3 is the world’s first operating coal-fired power plant to implement a full-scale post-combustion carbon capture and storage system. It did so more economically than other commercially available capture processes, and the utility  has been active since project initiation in sharing its experience with generators, regulators, and others globally. <strong>2014—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/ivanpah-solar-electric-generating-system-earns-powers-highest-honor/">Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station</a></strong>
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The era of Big Solar has arrived, and at the moment there are none bigger than Ivanpah. For overcoming numerous obstacles to build the world’s largest solar thermal plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is awarded POWER’s 2014 Plant of the Year Award. <strong>2013—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/aeps-john-w-turk-jr-power-plant-earns-powers-highest-honor/">AEP’s John W. Turk, Jr.</a></strong>
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AEP’s SWEPCO requested proposals in December 2005 for new generation to meet long-term capacity needs, and by August 2006 the company settled on coal-fired technology for a new plant site in Arkansas. Construction began in early 2008, and the new plant entered commercial service in December 2012. For overcoming numerous legal and regulatory obstacles and for building the first ultrasupercritical plant in the U.S., the John W. Turk, Jr. plant is awarded POWER’s 2013 Plant of the Year Award. <strong>2012—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/plant-of-the-yearaes-geners-angamos-power-plant-earns-powers-highest-honor/">AES Gener's Angamos Power Plant</a></strong>
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AES Gener recently completed construction of twin coal-fired, 260-MW units in the electricity-starved desert of northern Chile that may serve as models for future hybrid-fossil plant designs. For meeting an aggressive construction schedule, integrating a 20-MW battery energy storage system, embracing desalination, using the first-of-its-kind seawater cooling tower in South America, and employing innovative financing methods, the AES Gener Angamos plant has earned POWER’s 2012 Plant of the Year Award. <strong>2011—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/plant-of-the-yearkcpls-iatan-2-earns-powers-highest-honor/">KCP&amp;L's Iatan 2</a></strong>
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Kansas City Power &amp; Light (KCP&amp;L) began engaging stakeholders in 2003 to develop consensus on a regional energy plan designed to balance customers’ desire for low electricity costs with system reliability needs and environmental requirements. The culmination of that plan was the completion of Iatan 2, which entered service in August 2010. For executing an innovative energy plan that reduced overall fleet emissions, ensuring the region’s future electricity supply, and completing an approximately $2 billion project in time for the summer 2010 peak load by using innovative contracting and project controls, KCP&amp;L’s Iatan 2 is awarded POWER’s 2011 Plant of the Year Award. <strong>2010—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/luminants-oak-grove-power-plant-earns-powers-highest-honor/">Luminant's Oak Grove Power Plant</a></strong>
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Luminant used remnants of the ill-fated Twin Oaks and Forest Grove plants (which were mothballed more than 30 years ago) to build the new two-unit 1,600-MW Oak Grove Plant. Though outfitted with equipment from those old plants, Oak Grove also sports an array of modern air quality control equipment and is the nation’s first 100% lignite-fired plant to adopt selective catalytic reduction for NOx control and activated carbon sorbent injection technology to remove mercury. For melding two different steam generators into a single project, adopting a unique and efficient “push-pull” fuel delivery system, assembling a tightly integrated team that completed the project on time and within budget, and for completing what was started almost four decades ago, Oak Grove Power Plant is awarded POWER magazine’s 2010 Plant of the Year award. <strong>2009—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/city-of-springfields-cwlp-dallman-4-earns-powers-highest-honor/">City of Springfield’s CWLP Dallman 4</a></strong>
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City Water, Light &amp; Power (CWLP), the municipal utilities agency of the City of Springfield, Ill., determined that coal-fired generation was its best alternative for providing long-term reliable and economic electricity to the city’s residents. For negotiating an unprecedented agreement with the Sierra Club that allowed the project to move forward, for choosing the latest in coal-fired technology and air quality control systems as the foundation for the city’s comprehensive energy policy, and for assembling a tightly integrated team that completed the project well before the contractual deadline and under budget, CWLP’s Dallman 4 is awarded POWER magazine’s 2009 Plant of the Year award. <strong>2008—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/wisconsin-public-service-corp-s-weston-4-earns-powers-highest-honor/">Wisconsin Public Service Corp.'s Weston Unit 4</a></strong>
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Big returns frequently require big risks. But taking carefully calculated risks increases the odds of winning, as the construction of Wisconsin Public Service Corp.’s 595-MW (gross) Weston 4 demonstrates.
<strong>2007—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/midamericans-walter-scott-jr-energy-center-unit-4-earns-powers-highest-honor/">MidAmerican Energy Co.'s Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center Unit 4</a></strong>
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Renewed interest in higher plant efficiency, stable fuel costs, and energy security makes pulverized coal plants very attractive these days. Burning that coal to produce steam at supercritical pressure and temperature, which bumps up efficiency by 3% to 6% and reduces CO2 emissions, made the technology even more compelling for MidAmerican Energy Co. and its partners, who built Walter Scott, Jr. Energy Center Unit 4. If this plant name is unfamiliar, you might recognize it as the former Council Bluffs Energy Center. The facility was dedicated July 10, 2007, to Walter Scott Jr., long-time member of the Berkshire-Hathaway and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. Boards of Directors.
<strong>2006—<a href="https://www.powermag.com/tri-state-generation-and-transmission-associations-springerville-unit-3-earns-powers-highest-honor/">Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's Springerville Unit 3</a></strong>
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The timing of Springerville 3’s debut on July 28, 2006, was opportune for the editors of POWER, who consider the unit worthy of the magazine’s highest accolade based largely on one criterion: It is the first sizable pulverized coal–fired power plant to come on-line in the U.S. since Bechtel Power Corp. completed the Indiantown Generating Plant in Florida in 1996 for the independent power producer U.S. Generating Co., later acquired by Cogentrix Energy Inc.
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2010—Luminant's Oak Grove Power Plant

Luminant used remnants of the ill-fated Twin Oaks and Forest Grove plants (which were mothballed more than 30 years ago) to build the new two-unit 1,600-MW Oak Grove Plant. Though outfitted with equipment from those old plants, Oak Grove also sports an array of modern air quality control equipment and is the nation’s first 100% lignite-fired plant to adopt selective catalytic reduction for NOx control and activated carbon sorbent injection technology to remove mercury. For melding two different steam generators into a single project, adopting a unique and efficient “push-pull” fuel delivery system, assembling a tightly integrated team that completed the project on time and within budget, and for completing what was started almost four decades ago, Oak Grove Power Plant is awarded POWER magazine’s 2010 Plant of the Year award.

Older Plant of the Year award winners include:

2005—Southern California Public Power Authority’s Magnolia Power Project

2004—Reliant Energy’s Seward Project

2003—Constellation Energy’s High Desert Power Plant

2002—JEA’s Northside CFB Repowering Project

2001—PacifiCorp’s Klamath Cogeneration Project

2000—ATCO Power’s Poplar Hill Facility and Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.’s St. Francis Station

1999—Trigen Energy Corp./Cogeneration Corp. of America’s Grays Ferry Cogeneration Facility, Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, TXU Electric & Gas/York Research Corp.’s Big Spring Wind Facility, and Minergy Corp.’s Fox Valley Glass Aggregate Facility.

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor (@sonalcpatel, @powermag.com)