DALLAS, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) Fayette Power Project and Alliant Energy's (NYSE: LNT) Sixth Street Plant took top honors for EUCG's "Best Performer" power plant award at the organization's annual fall workshop last month. EUCG is a global association of energy and electric utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes. Runners-up included American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP) Mountaineer Plant and Alliant Energy's Edgewater, M.L. Kapp and Lansing power plants. Winners were chosen from a large dataset of plant-level cost and performance data submitted by EUCG member utilities. EUCG's independent third-party contractor analyzed the data and then rank-ordered the plants to determine the top three performers for both the large and small plant award categories. Plant performance was gauged on critical performance measures such as equivalent availability, forced outage rate and unplanned outage factors. EUCG member companies in the U.S., Canada and Asia submitted data to EUCG for consideration in this year's Best Performer awards. The fall workshop awards are based on one-year plant performance between January and December of the previous year, 2005. During EUCG's annual spring workshop, the organization recognizes best-performing plants over a five-year period. "The winners have plenty to be proud of, based on the fact that we had so many well-performing member plants in our database," said Jim Patrick of Ameren (NYSE: AEE), who serves as chairperson of EUCG's Fossil Committee. "The strategies that each of our 'Best Performer' winners took to achieve their outstanding performance were both creative and scientific," said George Sharp, EUCG marketing director, from American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP). "Our award winners are both relatively old and relatively new plants. Each has a unique story regarding how they formulate and execute business plans to achieve high performance." Large Plant Best Performer: Fayette Power Project (LCRA) LCRA's Fayette Power Project, located near La Grange in Fayette County, Texas, is a three-unit, 1,641-megawatt coal plant whose first two units went online in 1979 and 1980 and are co-owned with the City of Austin. The third unit was commissioned in 1988. The plant burns sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin. Plant Manager Ken Taylor credited the plant's employees for the award. "The Fayette Power Project is fortunate to have a highly skilled, dedicated work force. Our average tenure at the plant is 20 years, and this experience is invaluable and translates into high performance." Taylor also believes the plant is well positioned to continue performing well into the future. "We have instituted some unique programs at the plant to ensure the vast experience base of our employees is documented and properly transferred as our employees reach retirement age," he said. In addition, Taylor credits his employees' ability to plan, schedule and execute outages as a major contributor to the plant's success. "Planned outages are managed as a project. We not only seek employee input to minimize cost and schedule, but we also engage our contractors in the planning process to ensure no stone is left unturned when execution rolls around." Small Plant Best Performer: Sixth Street (Alliant Energy) Alliant Energy's Sixth Street Plant, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, is a 60-megawatt coal plant whose currently operating units entered service between 1930 and 1950. The station's primary role is not only to provide electrical power to the grid, but also to export steam to the surrounding community. "The steam load provides additional efficiencies that really improve the economics of the plant," said Doug Kopp, plant manager for the Sixth Street Plant. Alliant's M.L. Kapp and Lansing power stations took second and third place in the small plant category. This is the second year in a row that Alliant Energy plants have taken the top three awards in that category. "It's unusual for a single company to sweep an award category, particularly two years in a row," said Jim Patrick, EUCG Fossil Committee chairperson. "As I said last year when they swept the small plant awards, Alliant must be doing something pretty special." EUCG will hold its 2007 spring workshop in Savannah, Ga. All energy professionals are invited. Interested parties should visit the EUCG website (http://www.eucg.org) for more information. About EUCG: EUCG is a global association of energy and electric utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes. The association is organized into five separate committees that represent specific utility functions: Transmission & Distribution (T&D), Fossil Plants, Hydro Plants, Nuclear Plants, and Information Technology (IT) departments. Members attend semi-annual workshops that focus on strategic planning, maintenance practices, operations management, outage management and various other aspects of the electric utility business. Membership is open to all utility companies and professionals worldwide. Interested parties should contact Pat Kovalesky, EUCG executive director, at 1-623-572-4140. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.eucg.org.