October 2016 Powerlines

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2 AEC initiates Green Power Choice, a retail green power program. AEC also begins construction of a $300 million Air Quality Control project at Plant Lowman to bring the plant into compliance with new EPA standards. AEC's Board of Trustees votes to change the name of the corporation to PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, effective Jan. 1. The Energy Efficiency Loan Program begins to provide low-interest loans for residential efficiency improvements. The STOP program (Safety Training Observation Program) is implemented. This behavior-based program is designed to help supervisors and employees recognize both safe and unsafe conditions and acts by conducting safety observations. Record-breaking cold weather across the nation contributes to an all-time system peak of 2,400 megawatts. Despite bitterly cold temperatures, high winds, snow and sleet, PowerSouth's generation resources and 2,255 miles of transmission system remained safe and reliable during late January's record-breaking polar vortex. 2006 2007 TIMES OF CHANGE 2012 2013 2014 What do you get when you have 322 years of work experience in one place? You have plenty of funny stories and a whole lot of insight from PowerSouth's longest-standing employees at each location: David Murphy (Baldwin District); Roger Hammonds (Central Generation); Stanley Poole (Chipley District); Bubba Evers (Headquarters); Robin Beverly, John Nelson and Randy Reid (Lowman); Kent Ikner (McIntosh); and Ken Thompson (Western District). These employees say they began their careers at PowerSouth—Alabama Electric Cooperative (AEC) back then—with no lofty career aspirations. Most just wanted a good, stable job that paid a fair wage. They wanted to be close to home, and AEC made it possible. "It's home," said Reid, Lowman Operating Technician. "I never cared about leaving the area. It's a good place to work." Some of the nine left the area because of work or military careers, and jobs at PowerSouth gave them a way to come back. Baldwin District Crew Leader David Murphy served in the Army and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, but he had lived his whole life three miles from the Baldwin District office. After working other jobs before PowerSouth, one in particular with a long commute, he told himself, "I will never again have a job that I hate." That holds true today. Lowman Plant Supervisor Robin Beverly's first taste of PowerSouth was when his high school class toured the Lowman Control Room. "I thought, 'Those people must be geniuses!'" he said. "Before I worked here, I thought they made steam, boxed it up, and shipped it off in rail cars." Little did he know that a few years later, he would be selected from about 2,000 applicants to fill one of 22 openings at the plant. "My first day, they took us through the plant, and I thought, 'What have I gotten myself into?' It was scary and stressful at first. But within six months, I could have walked you through and told you about every part of the whole plant." Plenty of surprises were in store for these nine employees over the course of time. They weathered one industry trend after another— the energy crunch, rumors of deregulation, financial strains and increasing environmental pressure, to name a few. One unforeseen detail the men have in common is that they never expected to spend so many years with the same company. "I never thought I'd be sitting here as the oldest employee," laughed Evers, T&D Project Coordinator. When 18-year-old Evers started at PowerSouth, his job was mowing the grass around substations. Before long, he joined a line crew for about 10 years and then did field inspection work for about 10 years before taking on his current responsibility. The biggest change he's seen in his nearly 41-year career? The size of the company. Long-standing employees share their stories "Love your job, because that's important." "It's a good place to work." "Those people must be geniuses!" "I never thought I'd be sitting here as the oldest employee."

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