The shutdown of the AES Shady Point coal-fired electrical generation plant in eastern Oklahoma’s Le Flore county could come as soon as January.
That’s according to Lundy Kiger, AES Shady Point’s vice president who responded after the company received notification from Oklahoma Gas and Electric this month it will not do a five-year extension of its current contract. OGE’s had a contract with the plant since 1991.
Kiger told The Oklahoman, “We are extremely disappointed. As an independent, it would be difficult for us to bid into the larger market as a power producer.”
if the closing of the plant happens as Kiger expects, it will mean 100 employees at the plant could be out of work. But the impact will be far greater because Kiger says the plant is supported by up to 1,200 direct and indirect jobs.
The plant generates an estimated $48 million for southeast Oklahoma. OGE notified Shady Point last year that it intended to explore alternative sources for its electricity and officials hoped AES might respond with a better contract offer.
“We haven’t received an offer connected to it that would be in the best interest of OGE’s customers,” explained Brian Alford, a spokesman for the utility. “We are more efficient, not in an energy crisis and natural gas prices are low. We believe there are ample savings to be had by looking in the market.”