AES-Shady Point: Making a civic and economic impact for more than two decades
This year marks the 23rd year AES-Shady Point has called LeFlore County Home. The 320 megawatt coal-fired plant located eight miles north of Poteau began construction in 1988 and officially began operations on January 15, 1991. The plant sells its electrical output to Oklahoma Gas and Electric, which provides power to more than 230,000 homes and businesses throughout a two-state region. The company also is the first facility in the United States to produce a food grade carbon dioxide. AES-Shady Point held the position as the largest single private investment in Oklahoma at approximately $480 million until 2000. By using local natural resources in the production of electricity and buying locally whenever possible the company also helps to generate several million dollars every year to the local and state economies. Keeping business local has helped AES-Shady Point to impact the job market by creating more than 1,500 jobs in Oklahoma, both directly and indirectly. AES is all about providing a good product in a safe and environmentally conscious way, according to Lundy Kiger, the director of government and community relations for the company. The facility has achieved over 4 million hours working safely without a lost-time accident and is environmentally friendly due to clean-coal technology. The facility takes a hand in civic and economic development activities in surrounding communities and the two-state region. In support of the LeFlore County District Attorney’s fight against drugs during the previous five years, AES has contributed $250,000 in support of the District 16 Drug Task Force. Not only is the facility responsible for its impact in the job market and the economy, several county improvements are provided by the $1 million in property taxes paid by the facility annually.