Goldsboro - Lee Transmission Project
In 2009, Duke Energy Progress announced plans to retire three coal-fired units at the Lee Plant near Goldsboro and replace them with clean-burning natural gas-fueled generation. The new generation is scheduled to be on line in 2013 and will add a significant amount of lower-emission power capability to our generation fleet.
Duke Energy Progress must enhance the transmission system in the area to ensure that the electricity produced in the new, lower-emission power plant can get to where it's needed 24 hours a day. The upgrade is needed to prevent system overloading when the new plant comes on line.
The planned transmission system enhancements will provide enhanced reliability for Goldsboro, Wayne County, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the surrounding region.
The plan calls for expanding an existing 115-kilovolt (kV) feeder line from a point near the northwest side of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base through the base to an existing switching station in Goldsboro. The expansion will involve rebuilding an existing section of line using double circuit structures capable of carrying the existing line, as well as a new line. The section of line will be approximately four miles long and will be built along existing right of way on the base and on existing right of way along private property in Goldsboro.
The project will require a number of local, state and federal permits and approvals, including environmental and construction permits. Duke Energy Progress will continue to work with local governments and agencies to ensure that the project complements local growth plans. Duke Energy Progress will comply with all regulatory requirements related to the construction and operation of the facilities. Once a route is selected, Duke Energy Progress will conduct a detailed environmental review to identify any potential impacts and all needed permits.
The project does not require a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the N.C. Utilities Commission since the operating voltage of the line will be 115 kV. Duke Energy Progress will, however, follow its standard process for including input from property owners and others.
Duke Energy Progress believes public participation is critical to the success of the project. The company held a public information meeting June 7, 2010, at the Wayne Center in Goldsboro. The meeting allowed interested property owners and others to meet with Duke Energy Progress representatives to discuss the project's scope, schedule and other aspects of the plan. Duke Energy Progress also made information available via the news media and on the company's website.
Most of the upgrade can be conducted within the existing right of way. In some locations, however, the right of way will need to be expanded to accommodate the new line. Prior to work beginning, Duke Energy Progress will contact property owners along those portions of the right of way that need to be expanded. Property owners whose land is used for the project will maintain ownership of their land used as a utility easement, with some restrictions on its use.
Duke Energy Progress selected the route in November 2010, following a comprehensive review process that included a local public information workshop in June, as well as an assessment of feedback from property owners and others. Duke Energy Progress compared all the possible routes based on feedback and information on environmental issues, aesthetics, development plans, cultural resources and other criteria.
Construction of the line began in early 2012. The line will be placed into service in late 2012. As with all projects of this type, construction schedules are subject to change based on a variety of factors, including changes in population and usage growth.
Part of a balanced solution to meeting future needs
The project is one of several major transmission system enhancements planned or under way throughout our service area as part of the company's plan to ensure a continuous, reliable flow of electricity to customers. Building and maintaining a state-of-the-art power system is a key component of a balanced solution to meeting future energy needs – along with increased energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy technologies.