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H.F. Lee Combined Cycle Plant

  • Capacity: 920 megawatts (MW)
  • Location: Wayne County, N.C.
  • Commercial Date: 2012

The H.F. Lee Combined Cycle Plant is the newest facility at the H.F. Lee Energy Complex. The 920-MW plant came online in December 2012 and uses one of the most environmentally friendly forms of fossil generation available. The combined cycle design applies two sources of energy – combustion and steam turbines – to convert natural gas to electricity.

Site preparations for the plant, which included the installation of a 32-mile long, 20-inch gas pipeline, began in July 2010. The project created nearly 500 construction jobs and brought a tax base of $2.5 million to the county.

As a result of the Clean Smokestacks Act, Duke Energy retired the coal-fired H.F. Lee Steam Electric Plant in September 2012 and built the cleaner, more efficient combined-cycle plant. Emission reductions include:

  • 60 percent less carbon dioxide rate
  • Nearly 100 percent less sulfur dioxides
  • More than 95 percent less nitrogen oxides
  • More than 90 percent less mercury

The H.F. Lee Combined Cycle Power Block has more than twice the capacity of the retired coal plant.

History of the H.F. Lee Energy Complex
The H.F. Lee Energy Complex has a long history of serving the community. The first plant began commercial operation in 1951. Since then, the site has seen the building and retirement of three coal-fired units and four oil-fueled combustion turbines.

The complex is named after Harry Fitzhugh Lee, a district manager who retired from Carolina Power & Light after a 45-year career. Lee's family was well known; he was a great-grandson of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee III, and a grand-nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. However, H.F. Lee’s name, associates said, was synonymous with electric service in Wayne County.

In addition to the combined cycle plant, the H.F. Lee Energy Complex includes: