Buck Combined Cycle Plant
This 620-megawatt (MW) natural gas facility in Rowan County, N.C., began commercial operation in late 2011. It is located on the property of the current Buck Steam Station, where two of four coal units were retired in 2011 and two others are expected to be retired in the near future. The combined cycle plant’s state-of-the-art environmental control technology will significantly reduce emissions. These controls, combined with the older coal units’ retirement, will greatly reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions at the site.
Dan River Combined Cycle Plant
The Dan River Combined Cycle Plant, also 620 megawatts, shares a design similar to its counterpart at Buck. Located in Rockingham County, N.C., this facility began construction in January 2011 and is expected to begin commercial operation in late 2012. It, too, will have sophisticated control technology to allow the new facility to produce highly efficient electricity with minimal emissions. Three older, less efficient coal units at the adjacent Dan River Steam Station were retired in 2012.
H.F. Lee Plant
Duke Energy will retire three coal-fired units – totaling 382 megawatts – at the H.F. Lee Plant, located on the Neuse River west of Goldsboro, N.C., in 2013. Adjacent to the site, on the existing Wayne County Energy Complex, the company is building a new 920-megawatt natural gas-fired plant. The new generation represents a total investment of about $900 million and is planned to come on line in 2013.
Current and projected electric load in the Sandhills and throughout southern and eastern North Carolina continue to grow. To meet this need, a 600-megawatt natural gas-fueled combined-cycle unit was built on the Richmond County Energy Complex site. This facility, recently renamed the Sherwood H. Smith Jr. Energy Complex, has 1,904 megawatts of gas-fueled generating capacity. The site began operation in 2001, and the new nearly $600 million unit began commercial operation in mid-2011.
Duke Energy plans to retire three coal-fired units – totaling 575 megawatts – at its Sutton Plant, located on the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, N.C. The site is already home to one of the company’s largest renewable-energy projects, a 1.2-MW solar array.
Construction is under way on a state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired combined-cycle power block (625 MW), which is planned to come online in 2013. Because the plant is at the far eastern end of Duke Energy’s electric system, it’s important the company replaces the generation in the same area.
The natural gas-fired plant represents a projected investment of about $600 million. It is expected to create more than 700 construction jobs over the 24-month building process.