The Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is an electric distribution cooperative which is headquartered in Hughesville, Maryland. SMECO serves approximately 144,000 customers in Calvert, Charles, Prince Georges, and St. Marys counties of southern Maryland. Under its rules as a nonprofit cooperative, SMECO passes on its costs to its customer-members without markup or profit. SMECO owns a 77 MW combustion turbine located at the Chalk Point Generating Station which, by an agreement until 2015, is operated and maintained by Mirant. In 1937 two committees of citizens from three counties which were seeking aid to construct a local rural electric distribution system under the New Deals Rural Electrictrification Administration formed the Southern Maryland Tri-County Electric Cooperative Association. This was reorganized as a cooperative under the SMECO name in 1942. Customers were allowed to select suppliers of electricity beginning in 2001 under the electric deregulation legislation enacted in 1999. SMECO has won the J.D. Power and Associates Award for best customer service for the East region midsize utility for the past four years.