BILLINGSLEY, Ala. – Employees at the Tenaska Lindsay Hill and Tenaska Central Alabama Generating Stations and members of the Autauga County community celebrated 10 years of mutual accomplishments at a program celebrating the plants’ anniversaries Wednesday. In honor of the milestones, and in appreciation of the plants’ strong relationship with the community, Tenaska presented a $2,000 donation to the Autauga County Family Support Center in nearby Prattville and a $1,000 donation to Billingsley School general fund.
Approximately 125 elected officials, neighbors, business and community leaders, local contractors and vendors joined the 50 employees and their families at the power plants near Billingsley. Todd Jonas, senior vice president of Operations and Asset Management, and Robert Threlkeld, plant manager for both facilities, were among the Tenaska representatives participating in the program.
“We knew Autauga County was the right place to be,” Jonas said. “It had the resources, and the people here welcomed us. They were glad to see Tenaska investing in the county and in Alabama.”
Threlkeld, who has managed the plants since 2001, was the master of ceremonies at the event. He joined Jonas and Community Representative Harold Stockman to present the donations to the Autauga County Family Support Center, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the quality of life of children and families in the area through education, advocacy and employment, and to the general fund of Billingsley School.
Other speakers at the luncheon celebration included Luther Strange, Alabama attorney general, Jim Byard Jr., director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development, Connie Bainbridge, manager of community and economic development for the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative and former president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, Al Booth, Autauga County probate judge, and Van Smith, principal of Billingsley School.
“I want to congratulate Tenaska and its employees on their Alabama anniversary, and thank them for their commitment to Autauga County and to our state,” Attorney General Strange said. “We are fortunate to have Tenaska in Alabama, and I wish the company and its employees many more years of continued success.”
At the celebration, employees were recognized for their commitment to safe and reliable power generation. Tenaska Lindsay Hill and Tenaska Central Alabama have each accrued more than five years without an injury or illness resulting in time away from work. The plants’ employees received a total of five major awards from the National Safety Council for 2011 and have been honored with 21 awards for innovative practices from leading trade magazine Combined Cycle Journal over the years.
The two plants produce enough electricity to power approximately 1.7 million homes. The 845-megawatt (MW) Tenaska Lindsay Hill Generating Station converts the energy in natural gas to electricity for sale to power customer BE Alabama, LLC, which in turn markets the power. The 885 MW Tenaska Central Alabama Generating Station produces electricity for Shell Energy North America (US), L.P., which in turn markets the power.
“These two plants helped usher in a new era of how power was generated, bought and sold in America,” Jonas said in remarks at the luncheon. “They remain an integral part of the power generation model that has been at the core of Tenaska’s business.”
The plants are among the largest taxpayers in Autauga County, contributing approximately $17.7 million in property taxes since commercial operation began in 2002. In 2011, the plants injected approximately $10.1 million in salaries and payments to local contractors and vendors into the area economy.
The plants strive to be good corporate neighbors, and Jonas applauded employees, many of whom have worked at the plants since the start of operations, for their work with the community.
“You are Tenaska’s greatest ambassadors, contributing your leadership and giving of your time, talent and treasure to the place you call home,” he said.
The plants make annual contributions to several organizations that benefit the community, including to three local fire departments and the City of Billingsley. Tenaska sponsors a scholarship program to benefit Autauga County high school students, awarding $96,000 in scholarships to date. Tenaska and power customer Shell Energy North America (U.S.), L.P., donated and installed new playground equipment at Billingsley School as construction on the Central Alabama facility came to an end. Last year, approximately 815 hours of volunteer service were performed by employees and other annual contributions were made within the community.
“Autauga County has grown by 25 percent over the past decade and Tenaska has been an important part of that growth,” said Byard, who was the mayor of Prattville when Autauga County was selected as the site for the two plants. “Tenaska is exactly the type of business that community leaders seek to attract – a good corporate citizen that provides jobs, revenue to support public services and a product that will continue to contribute to the future growth of the region.”
About Tenaska Tenaska, an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Neb., formed Tenaska Alabama Partners, L.P., and Tenaska Alabama II Partners, L.P., to build, own and operate the Tenaska Lindsay Hill Generating Station and the Tenaska Central Alabama Generating Station, respectively. Affiliates of Tenaska serve as the managing partners and operators.