CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida announced today plans for three major construction projects to continue meeting the needs of its customers.
If the plans are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, the company will construct a state-of-the-art, highly efficient combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County and two simple-cycle combustion turbine generators at the Suwannee Plant near Live Oak. Additionally, it will install new equipment at the Hines Energy Complex near Bartow to increase efficiency and power output. Officials also announced the retirement timeline for two coal-fired units at the Crystal River Energy Complex. If approved by regulators, the projects will benefit customers by increasing systemwide reliability and efficiency while reducing emissions. "We are making these investments to continue providing our customers with the most cost-effective energy solutions and highest level of reliability with limited environmental impact," said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida. "We are committed to ensuring our customers' energy needs are met 24 hours a day, seven days a week now and in the future." Today, Duke Energy Florida will provide the Florida Public Service Commission an update in Tallahassee on these projects. On May 27, 2014, the company will formally submit the plans to the commission for approval. A commission ruling is expected later this year. New combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County After a months-long request for proposals process, Duke Energy Florida has selected its self-build option to construct a 1,640-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant to help serve Florida's approximately 1.7 million customers starting in 2018. The anticipated cost to build the new plant is approximately $1.5 billion, including financing costs. "Our proposal is the most cost-effective option for customers that provides systemwide reliability, ensures regulatory compliance and meets our needed 2018 in-service construction timeline," said Glenn.