This state-of-the-art facility, along with the five dual-fueled combustion turbines at the existing Wayne County Energy Complex, will be called the H.F. Lee Energy Complex when the project is completed. Total generation capacity of the site will approach 1,800 MW.
"This new facility is an important investment in the future of our customers and communities," said Lyash. "I am proud of our continued commitment to Wayne County and to spurring economic growth in the communities we serve."
The utility has been working to minimize employee impacts from its fleet-modernization efforts. Of the normal complement of 79 employees at Lee, 65 were selected for positions within the new Lee Plant or have been placed in similar positions within the company and 14 are retiring with the company's severance programs associated with the merger with Duke Energy.
PEC retired its coal-fired W.H. Weatherspoon power plant near Lumberton, N.C., Oct. 1, 2011, the first retirement under the utility's fleet-modernization plan.Other plants slated for retirement include the Cape Fear Plant near Moncure, N.C. ( Oct. 1, 2012), the Robinson coal-fired unit near Hartsville, S.C. ( Oct. 1, 2012) and the L.V. Sutton Plant near Wilmington, N.C. (late 2013). Once the retirements are complete, the utility will have retired all of its coal-fired units that do not have advanced environmental controls. The utility's coal-fired unit retirements represent more than 1,600 MW, or approximately one-third of its coal-generating fleet. The utility will replace the retiring coal-fueled generating capacity with combined-cycle plants fueled by natural gas. In addition to the new Lee facility, the utility is building a 625-MW facility at its Sutton site. Commercial operation, including a corresponding natural gas pipeline extension, is expected at the end of 2013.