Building Bridges with Technology
We are working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions with new technologies on both the supply and demand sides. The previous section reviewed some of our initiatives to reduce energy demand. On the supply side, we’re looking at a number of different technologies – some proven, others emerging.
- We are building a cleaner-coal integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant – a plant that will replace a half century-old coal plant. The 630-megawatt (MW) plant is being built in Edwardsport, Ind., where the limestone geology is believed to be conducive to geologic sequestration of carbon. Sequestration involves securely storing CO2 in deep underground formations such as saline reservoirs, depleted oil or gas fields, or unmineable coal seams.
- Duke Energy is also participating in three of the seven U.S. Department of Energy projects to test CO2 capture and storage. These partnerships form the core of a nationwide effort to assess the technical and economic viability of capturing and permanently storing CO2 through carbon sequestration.
- In the Carolinas, we’re building an advanced, highly efficient 800-MW coal plant – Unit 6 – at the Cliffside Steam Station. Cliffside 6 is expected to generate over twice the electricity of the existing five units, while emitting one-seventh of the sulfur dioxide, one-third of the nitrogen oxides and one-half of the mercury. Additionally, we have developed with N.C. regulators a plan to retire approximately 1,000 MW of older, less efficient coal-fired plants and take additional actions to make Cliffside 6 “carbon neutral” by 2018. We’re not building an IGCC plant in North Carolina because the geology is not suitable for carbon sequestration. Cliffside 6 will likely be the last new coal plant we build in North Carolina for at least 20 years. By then, we expect carbon capture technology to advance so it can be used on virtually any coal plant, regardless of the geology.
- Also in North Carolina, we’re planning to build more than 1,200 MW of natural gas-fired generation capacity to meet increasing demand. These loweremitting natural gas units will also help us fill the need for electricity as we retire older coal units.
- We’re using our more than three decades of experience in building and operating nuclear plants to plan a new, 2,234-MW nuclear power plant in South Carolina – a plant that will have zero greenhouse gas emissions.