SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. – 2 Industry Awards Recognize Plant’s Commitment to Safety, Environmental Stewardship

The New Covert Generating Facility has won Best Practices Awards for excellence in Safety and Environmental Stewardship from Combined Cycle Journal, a leading energy industry publication.

The 1,100-megawatt power plant is located in Covert, near South Haven, and is owned by New Covert Generating Company, LLC, a private equity investment managed by Tenaska Capital Management, LLC (TCM), and operated by NAES Corp.

Combined Cycle Journal’s Best Practices Awards program recognizes the valuable contributions made by plant staff and headquarters engineering and asset-management personnel to strengthen the performance of gas turbine-based generating facilities.

New Covert was honored for its adoption of the Teams Operating Plants Safely (TOPS) program. New Covert employees completed more than 500 safety observations of plant processes in 2011 to identify opportunities to further decrease risk of safety incidents.

The award for Environmental Stewardship recognizes New Covert’s development of a successful program to further minimize the potential for human error in continuous emissions monitoring systems calibration and gas bottle management.

“Our employees remain committed to innovation and efficiency, which puts our plant in the top tier nationally and at the forefront of providing reliable power to the electricity grid and the homes and businesses it serves,” said Rich Evans, plant manager. “We’re proud of their work and are pleased that our industry has recognized them once again.”

This is the plant’s fourth Best Practices Award since 2010.

The New Covert Generating Facility is an independent natural gas-fueled combined-cycle generating station completed in 2004. It sells enough power to meet the needs of more than 1 million homes in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) market.

The plant is one of the largest taxpayers in Van Buren County, contributing more than $4.7 million in property taxes for 2011. Each year, the plant injects more than $8.2 million in salaries and payments to local contractors and vendors into the area economy.

New Covert employees have supported various local organizations and community projects, including the South Haven Chamber of Commerce, Covert Community Cleanup and First United Methodist Church Food Shelter, Coloma Watervliet Economic Development Area, South Haven Senior Services, U.S. Fire Safety Service and South Haven Area Emergency Services, and the City of South Haven/Covert Independence Day Celebration.