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Duke Energy files for potential natural gas plant in Anderson

By Ashley Boncimino
Published Oct. 25, 2013

Duke Energy Carolinas filed an environmental compatibility application for a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired power generation plant at the Lee Steam Station in Anderson County.

When asked for comment, a representative said the company has not made the internal decision to pursue the project even if the application is accepted. “This is just the next logical step,” said Duke representative Ryan Mosier.

The proposed plant would replace the three existing Lee Steam Station units, which would reduce Duke Energy’s existing resources by 370 MW upon their retirement in 2015. The project would add an estimated 500 jobs to the area during the height of construction and could be in operation as early as 2017, according to a news release.

The proposed plant, referred to as the Lee Combined Cycle Project in the proposal, would cover the company’s projected need of 317 MW in 2017 and, without the addition of the project, 573 MW in 2018, due to the 1.5% projected annual load growth projections.

The potential combined cycle plant would be a part of the company’s long-term plan to add new power generating capabilities, modernize the existing fleet and maintain a diverse fuel portfolio, according to a press release.

The plant would include two combustion turbine generators, two heat-recovery steam generators and one steam turbine generator to produce the proposed 750 MW of electrical power. The company said natural gas-fired combined cycle plants emit about half of the carbon dioxide emissions as coal, and have low sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The filing was in a partnership with North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., which will be a minority owner of 100 MW of the 750-MW project if constructed. The application was for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Convenience and Necessity from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

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