GREENVILLE, S.C., May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Carolinas announced today 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 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.