FRANKLIN, Ga. – Tenaska Georgia Generating Station’s 11 employees today were recognized for 10 years of safe and reliable electric generation in Heard County at a luncheon held at the natural gas-fueled electric generating plant near Franklin, Ga. In recognition of the milestone, the plant presented $1,500 to support the Heard County Food Pantry.
Approximately 100 elected officials, business and community leaders, local contractors, customers, neighbors and vendors joined employees and their families at the celebration held to recognize the employees and thank the community for welcoming the company as a business neighbor.
Todd Jonas, Vice President of Operations; Roger Allen, Plant Manager; and Bill Braudt, General Manager of Project Development when the plant was developed, were Tenaska representatives participating in the program.
“Ten years have gone by quickly, and we are pleased to be a Heard County business,” Jonas said. “We have our plant employees to thank for their daily commitment to safe operation and providing reliable electricity to our customer and the region. Through it all, they don’t lose sight of the meaning of being a good citizen and giving to the community that welcomed us.”
“We appreciate Heard County leaders and their decisions which encourage economic and job growth by working with businesses in ways that both benefit the county and help businesses stay competitive,” he said.
Braudt, who led the team that developed the generating facility, was master of ceremonies at the event. He called upon Jonas and Allen to present the $1,500 donation to the Food Pantry.
Guests at the event were invited to bring non-perishable items to the open house to contribute to the Food Pantry.
“It’s a pleasure doing business in Heard County and an honor to be a part of this community and state. In recognition of our anniversary, we wanted to show our gratitude with a community gift,” Allen said. “Demand for Food Pantry services is increasing. This gift can make a difference in many people’s lives at a time when they need it most and just in time for the holidays.”
Other speakers at the luncheon included the Honorable June Jackson, chair of the Heard County Board of Commissioners, Ross Henry, Heard County Sheriff, and Jerry Prince, Superintendent of the Heard County School System.
“Our county has been successful in attracting new business in recent years, but the Tenaska Georgia Generating Station was an early one, and it set a gold standard for those who were to follow,” said Jackson. “They have definitely proven themselves to be good neighbors by doing what they say they will do and working together with the county and the local community for mutual success.”
The generating station is a “peaker” plant which stands ready to ramp up quickly to meet heavy demand on the electric grid that serves much of the southeastern U.S. Its six natural gas-fueled turbine-generator sets can provide enough electricity to power up to 945,000 homes, when called upon.
At the celebration, employees were recognized for receiving four major awards from the National Safety Council for 2010. The plant’s employees have achieved 10 years of plant operation with no work-related injury or illness resulting in time away from work.
Tenaska Georgia Generating Station produces electricity for sale to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, which in turn markets the power.
Tenaska has awarded a total of $19,500 in scholarships to 31 college-bound high school seniors in Heard County over the past 10 years. One of the scholarship recipients, Josh Gowens, completed his college education and returned to the county to work at the power plant.
In 2010, the plant injected approximately $2.1 million in salaries and payments to local contractors and vendors into the area economy. Last year, approximately 700 hours of volunteer service were performed by employees, and other annual contributions were made within the community. Over the years, the Georgia facility contributed significantly to the support of environmental protection, including preservation of 44 acres of wetland habitat and 14 acres of trees around the plant.
Tenaska, an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Neb., formed Tenaska Georgia Partners, L.P., to build, own and operate the Tenaska Georgia Generating Station. Affiliates of Tenaska serve as the managing partner and operator.