Meeting steadily growing demand
Plans to modernize our Cliffside Steam Station in North Carolina will ensure that our customers in the Carolinas have an affordable and reliable supply of power to support the region’s economic growth. Our plan called for replacing four old coal units with two supercritical and highly efficient 800-megawatt coal units using advanced emissions controls.
In late February 2007, we received a notice of decision from the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which authorized building one of the two units. The commission also accepted our commitment to invest 1 percent of our revenues in the Carolinas for energy efficiency, subject to appropriate regulatory treatment, and our plan to retire older, less efficient units.
Our estimates were based on two units, and as this annual report was being published, we still needed an air permit for this project. We are studying the commission’s decision and the project to determine how to proceed. We won’t make a decision until we have a clearer understanding of the overall costs as well as the conditions of the air permit. We are also evaluating the possibility of enhancing and accelerating natural gas-fired plants in our portfolio.
Another important element of our generation strategy is the 2,234-megawatt William States Lee nuclear plant we are proposing to build in South Carolina’s Cherokee County. We also continue to explore building an advanced cleaner coal plant in Indiana, and we are pursuing additional energy efficiency programs and renewable technologies.
The net result of these initiatives will help us meet steadily increasing customer demand while reducing multiple environmental impacts of our operations, including carbon emissions.
RICK ROPER IS GENERAL MANAGER OF DUKE ENERGY’S CLIFFSIDE STEAM STATION IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. THE 760-MEGAWATT BASE LOAD POWER PLANT HAS BEEN IN COMMERCIAL OPERATION SINCE 1940.