This is the third installment in a multipart series to educate electric cooperative members about power generation and the increased challenges facing electric utilities, including the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. To read more, visit

“Diversify your portfolio.” It’s a savvy practice when it comes to managing investments — keeping a variety of different assets to reduce risk.

It’s also a savvy practice when it comes to wholesale power — maintaining varied generation resources to deliver reliable and affordable electricity. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas call this strategy the Balance of Power. 

To fulfill our primary mission of providing 1.2 million electric cooperative members with Reliable, Affordable and Responsible electricity, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), the generation and transmission cooperative for the 17 local electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas. It posesses a diversified fleet of power generation facilities, from coal and natural gas to hydro and solar. In addition, AECC has Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for wind, solar and hydro power.

AECC Chief Operations Officer Jonathan Oliver said, “I’m very proud of AECC and the diversity of the portfolio we have because it leads to reliable and affordable power for our members. As other utilities concentrate on building non-fossil facilities and shutting down coal, AECC believes all power generation resources are important for a secure and reliable future. We have a diverse portfolio. … That mix says we’re not all fossil fuels; we’re not all wind and solar; we’re all for something that makes sense for a sustainable future. We don’t put all our eggs in one basket.”

The “eggs” here are megawatts (MW). MW are units for measuring power, and 1 megawatt is equal to 1,000 kilowatts. On a yearly average 1,000 kilowatts is typically enough electricity for the instantaneous demand of approximately 250 homes at any given time.

What follows is a list of AECC’s generation facilities by type — and a lot of numbers. The most significant numbers here are the MW capabilities — the power production.

Notice that dispatchable resources, like coal and natural gas, are the workhorses that can produce dependable and large amounts of power over extended periods of time. But, due to federal regulations, some of the most reliable and most affordable plants are being forced into retirement. And proposed federal rules to reduce carbon emissions with unrealistic and unachievable timelines would further reduce available dispatchable generation resources.

While wind and solar are an important part of a balanced energy portfolio, they are intermittent, weather-dependent resources; they only generate when the sun shines and the wind blows.


These plants use low-sulfur coal mined in Wyoming.

Flint Creek Power Plant

Operating in Gentry since 1978, this plant that is 50% owned by AECC can produce 528 MW.

Independence Steam Electric Station

Independence Steam Electric Station

Operating near Newark since 1983 (Unit 1) and 1984
(Unit 2), this plant can produce 1,678 MW. AECC owns 35% of this plant, which will be required to cease operations in 2030.

John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant

Operating in Fulton since 2012, this plant can produce 624 MW. AECC owns 73 MW of this plant.

White Bluff Steam Electric Station

Operating in Redfield since 1980 (Unit 1) and 1981 (Unit 2), this plant can produce 1,659 MW. AECC owns 35% of this plant, which will be required to cease operations in 2028.


These run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants are powered by the Arkansas River and are 100% owned by AECC.

Carl S. Whillock Hydroelectric Generating Station

Operating near Morrilton since 1993, this plant can produce 32.4 MW.

Clyde T. Ellis Hydroelectric Generating Station

Also having the ability to produce 32.4 MW, this plant has been operating in Barling since 1988.

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Hydropower Generating Station

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Hydropower Generating Station

Operating near Dumas since 1999, this plant can produce 102.6 MW.

Natural Gas

These natural gas plants are 100% owned by AECC.

Elkins Generating Station

Operating in Elkins since 2010, this plant can produce 60 MW.

Fulton CT1 Generating Station

Operating in Fulton since 2001, this plant can produce 153 MW.

Harry L. Oswald Generating Station

Operating in Wrightsville since 2003, this plant can produce 548 MW.

Thomas B. Fitzhugh Generating Station

John L. McClellan Generating Station

Operating in Camden since 1972, this plant can produce 134 MW. While natural gas is the primary fuel, the plant also uses fuel oil for backup.

Magnet Cove Generating Station

Operating near Malvern since 2006, this plant can produce 800 MW.

Thomas B. Fitzhugh Generating Station

Operating in Ozark since 1963 (Unit 1) and 2003 (Unit 2), this plant can produce 170.6 MW. While natural gas is the primary fuel, the plant also uses fuel oil for backup.


This array is 100% owned by AECC.

Woodruff County Solar

A 122 MW array located near Augusta is AECC’s first utility-scale solar project and should begin full commercial operation soon.