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Duke Energy commissions 750MW combined-cycle natural gas plant in South Carolina

EBR Staff Writer Published 10 April 2018

Duke Energy commissioned a new 750MW combined-cycle natural gas plant at the existing W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina, US.

The power plant, construction of which was started in March 2015, is part of the company’s balanced approach to modernizing the fleet and maintaining a diverse fuel portfolio.

The firm closed two coal-fired units at the W.S. Lee Station in 2014 while the third coal unit was converted to natural gas in 2015.

Currently, it has no power plants in South Carolina that use coal as fuel.  

Duke Energy South Carolina state president Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe said: "Investing in a smarter, more efficient energy future through projects like the new W.S. Lee plant is more than just good business – it's an investment in our state that helps attract jobs and industry and make our economy and communities stronger.

"This project represents a long-term commitment to South Carolina – a $700m investment in the station, environment and surrounding communities."

Duke Energy said that the project had benefited 150 companies, contributed $12m to local subcontractors, and created more than 600 temporary construction jobs. For Anderson County, the new combined-cycle unit is also expected to generate about $4.4m in tax revenue in 2019.

The W.S. Lee Station, in addition to the new combined-cycle natural gas plant, has a 180MW natural gas boiler and two dual-fuel 42MW simple-cycle units. 

Fluor was the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the combined-cycle natural gas plant.

A 100MW portion of the unit's energy capacity is owned by The North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation.   

With a diverse fuel mix, Duke Energy currently provides nearly 19.7GW of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 38,624km² service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Its electric utilities and infrastructure business unit serves about 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

Image: The Duke Energy’s new combined-cycle natural gas plant is located at the existing W.S. Lee Station in South Carolina. Photo: courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation.