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HOME » Proposed New Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant in Citrus County, Fla.

Proposed New Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant in Citrus County, Fla.

As part of Duke Energy's balanced approach to meeting future demand for reliable, affordable electricity, the company announced on May 13, 2014, plans to self-build a state-of-the-art, highly efficient, combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County, Fla.

After a months-long request for proposals (RFP) process, Duke Energy's self-build option was selected because it is the most cost-effective option for customers and provides systemwide reliability, ensures regulatory compliance and meets the 2018 in-service construction timeline.

With the self-build option, Duke Energy will serve as construction manager and enter into contracts with contractors specializing in the engineering, procurement and construction to meet the plant’s specifications. The company has used the self-build model for the last five natural gas plants it has built. Some examples include the combined-cycle plant at the L.V. Sutton Energy Complex in Wilmington, N.C.; H.F. Lee Plant in Wayne County, N.C.; and Smith Energy Complex in Hamlet, N.C.

If all necessary approvals and permits are received, the combined-cycle plant will supply 1,640 megawatts of generation to help serve Florida's approximately 1.7 million customers in 2018. The plant's first 820 megawatts are expected to come online in spring 2018, and the second 820 megawatts are expected to come online by December 2018.

The proposed combined-cycle plant will be located near the existing Crystal River Energy Complex (15760 W. Power Line St., Crystal River) on 400 acres. We selected the Citrus County site after careful review of several factors, including the availability of water, fuel supply, access to transmission systems, impact on transmission grid reliability and other operational advantages. Crews will access the site using existing roadways.

The plant will receive natural gas through a new pipeline Sabal Trail Transmission is constructing. The pipeline will start in Alabama, extend through Georgia and end in Central Florida. Sabal Trail Transmission will license, construct and operate the natural gas pipeline.

The project requires approval from various local, state and federal governing bodies and regulatory agencies. The project also requires certification under Florida's Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA). This act provides a consolidated permitting process that incorporates applicable local, state and regional permitting requirements.

Duke Energy has taken proactive steps to be ready to implement our construction plan. Some of those actions include submitting land use and regulatory documents.

  • April 1, 2014: Duke Energy submitted comprehensive plan and atlas amendment applications to Citrus County to request a land use and zoning change for the property where the proposed plant will be located.

  • May 15, 2014: The Citrus County Planning and Development Commission voted unanimously in favor of forwarding Duke Energy’s comprehensive plan and atlas amendment applications to the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners.

  • May 27, 2014: Duke Energy submitted a determination of need petition to the Florida Public Service Commission that explains why the combined-cycle plant is needed.

  • June 10, 2014: The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of transmitting Duke Energy’s comprehensive plan and atlas amendment applications to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for state agency review and comment.

  • July 10, 2014: Duke Energy hosted a community open house for the proposed combined-cycle natural gas plant at the Plantation on Crystal River. More than 300 people attended. Click the Open House tab for more information.

  • Aug. 1, 2014: Duke Energy submitted federal permits and a site certification application (SCA) under Florida's Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA). Click site certification application to review the submittal and visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s applications web page for more information.

  • Sept. 9, 2014: The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners approved Duke Energy’s request for a land use and zoning change from extractive (EXT) to transportation, communications and utilities (TCU) for the property where the proposed plant will be located.

  • Oct. 2, 2014: The Florida Public Service Commission approved Duke Energy’s determination of need petition to construct the combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County.

  • The below dates are subject to change.

  • April 6, 2015: Regulatory agencies will issue reports.

  • May 5, 2015: Florida Department of Environmental Protection will issue project analysis report.

  • June 12, 2015: Florida Department of Environmental Protection will issue final order of certification, if undisputed.

  • June 17 – 23, 2015: If disputed, Florida Department of Administrative Hearings holds hearing on site certification application.

  • Oct. 13, 2015: If disputed, Florida Siting Board, composed of the governor and cabinet, will hold a hearing on the site certification application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need to build a new combined-cycle natural gas plant?

As identified in Duke Energy’s 10-year site plan, the company needs approximately 2,200 megawatts of generation by 2018 as a result of retiring the Crystal River Nuclear Plant and Crystal River coal-fired units 1 and 2. Building highly efficient natural gas plants is part of the company’s plan to meet future demand for reliable, affordable electricity. Natural gas plants also offer economic and environmental advantages compared to other generation options.

Who will need to approve the natural gas project before construction will start?

The project requires approval from various local, state and federal governing bodies and regulatory agencies. The project also requires certification under Florida’s Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA). This act provides a consolidated permitting process that incorporates applicable local, state and regional permitting requirements.

Why did you select Citrus County for the new natural gas plant?

We selected the Citrus County site after a careful review of several factors, including the availability of water, fuel supply, access to transmission systems, impact on transmission grid reliability and other operational advantages.

Where in Citrus County will the plant be located?

If all required approvals are received, the new combined-cycle plant will be located adjacent to the existing Crystal River Energy Complex (15760 W. Power Line St.) on 400 acres.

From where will the natural gas come?

The plant will receive natural gas through a new pipeline Sabal Trail Transmission is constructing. The pipeline will start in Alabama, extend through Georgia and end in Central Florida. Sabal Trail Transmission will license, construct and operate the natural gas pipeline.

When will the new combined-cycle natural gas plant be operational?

If all necessary approvals and permits are received, the plant’s first 820 megawatts are expected to come online in spring 2018, and the second 820 megawatts are expected to come online by December 2018.

What impact will the project have on the environment and water supplies in the area?

The new combined-cycle plant will comply with all applicable local, state and federal environmental requirements and regulations. The plant will not require more ground water resources than what is already permitted at the Crystal River Energy Complex. Crews will also access the site using existing roadways.

How will this project benefit the local economy?

Construction and related activities are expected to add several million dollars to the local tax base and economy. During the height of construction, we anticipate 600 to 700 jobs to be created. Once construction is complete, approximately 40 to 75 workers will be needed to operate the plant.

I want to work on the project. When will job information be available, and how can I apply?

Duke Energy job openings are posted on this web page. You may also access our job bank by clicking the Careers link under the Our Company tab at the bottom this web page. During the height of construction, we anticipate 600 to 700 temporary construction jobs to be created. More information about these jobs will be available in 2015 after we select an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor later this year. If all required permits and approvals are received, the EPC contractor is expected to start hiring workers gradually in early 2016. Once construction is complete, 40 to 75 Duke Energy employees will be needed to operate the plant.

I have a product or service that could benefit the project. How can I do business with Duke Energy?

Duke Energy has specific requirements for companies wanting to do business with us. The first step is registering as a supplier. Review the information under the Doing Business With Us tab at the bottom of this web page for more details.

If you build the natural gas plant, what will happen to plans for the proposed nuclear plant in Levy County?

We continue to regard the proposed nuclear plant in Levy County as a viable option for future nuclear generation and understand the importance of fuel diversity in creating a sustainable energy future. Nuclear generation is a cost-effective, reliable and greenhouse gas emission free source of electricity.

We believe that nuclear energy is an important component of our generation portfolio. Therefore, we continue to pursue the construction and operating license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We anticipate receiving the license in late 2015. The license remains in effect for 40 years (with the possibility of a 20-year renewal) after construction is complete and the plant becomes operational.

We evaluate new nuclear generation in Florida based on, among other factors, energy needs, project costs, carbon regulation, natural gas prices, existing or future legislative provisions for cost recovery and requirements of the NRC license.

On July 10, 2014, Duke Energy hosted a community open house for the proposed combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County, Fla., at the Plantation on Crystal River.

More than 300 people attended, including elected officials, key leaders, shareholders, customers, plant neighbors, out-of-towners, union representatives, job seekers and those wanting to do business with Duke Energy.

Duke Energy hosted the event to proactively build awareness of the project and give the community an opportunity to meet the project team, ask questions and provide feedback on the plan.

The open house consisted of eight informational tables in a trade-show style, including combined-cycle natural gas technology, protecting the environment and approval and permitting process as well as other Duke Energy topics, such as Crystal River coal-fired operation, Crystal River Nuclear Plant decommissioning, energy efficiency, renewables and customer bills, among others.

The below information was provided to open house attendees.

To ask a question or provide feedback on the project, click on the Feedback tab or call 800.510.7435.

Duke Energy job openings are posted on this web page. You may also access our job bank by clicking the Careers link under the Our Company tab at the bottom of this web page.

Timeline for jobs

During the height of construction, we anticipate 600 to 700 temporary construction jobs to be created. More information about these jobs will be available in 2015 after we select an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor later this year. If all required permits and approvals are received, the EPC contractor is expected to start hiring workers gradually in early 2016. Once construction is complete, 40 to 75 Duke Energy employees will be needed to operate the plant.

Doing business with Duke Energy

Duke Energy has specific requirements for companies wanting to do business with us. The first step is registering as a supplier. Review the information under the Doing Business With Us tab at the bottom of this web page for more details.

Keeping our customers and plant neighbors informed of our proposed new combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County, Fla., is important to us. To ask a question or share feedback, please complete this form or call our toll-free number 800.510.7435. A member of our project team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Artist rendering of proposed site in Citrus County
Rendering of proposed site in Citrus County