Duke Energy to build 750 MW gas power plant at coal-fired Lee site

Source:Duke Energy

Duke Energy Carolinas to build and operate a new 750-megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle plant at the existing coal-fired Lee Steam Station site

Duke Energy Carolinas (NYSE: DUK) announced it will build and operate a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle plant at the existing Lee Steam Station site in Anderson County, S.C.

The North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation will own 100 megawatts of the project.

The decision to move forward with this project is part of a comprehensive, long-term plan to add new generation, modernize the fleet, maintain a diverse fuel portfolio, and manage customer costs while delivering a high-quality, reliable power supply.

"Natural gas-fired combined cycle plants are a good match to meet the significant energy needs of our customers over the next 15 years, and are expected to be an important part of the future Duke Energy Carolinas generation portfolio," said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy state president – South Carolina. "They are very efficient in the production of electricity using natural gas as fuel and have very low plant emissions."

The Public Service Commission of South Carolina approved the plant in April, and the company finalized plans to move forward with construction earlier this month.

The company is in the process of procuring equipment and the contracts to begin construction so the project will be commercially available in November 2017. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2015. 

"The Lee site is a great location for a combined cycle plant," Gillespy said. "Duke Energy will be able to leverage existing site infrastructure to minimize new generation project costs and impacts to the community and environment."

This project represents a substantial long-term investment by Duke Energy Carolinas in the coal-fueled Lee Steam Station site and surrounding community. At least 500 jobs will be created during the height of construction, with about 25 full-time employees to operate the plant once it is online.

"Anderson County has a long, successful history with Duke Energy," said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. "Today we celebrate Duke Energy's latest investment in our community, which will bring quality jobs for our residents. We are grateful to Duke Energy's leadership for choosing our county for this project and for continually shaping the future of the Upstate."

"We're very proud of our company's history in Anderson County," Gillespy said. "We're honored that government and business leaders strongly support this project and recognize the positive impact it will have in this county for decades to come."

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