Jan 3 U.S. power company Duke Energy Corp
said Thursday three new power plants in North Carolina
entered service in December, allowing the company to retire
several old coal plants.
The three plants are the 825-megawatt (MW) Cliffside 6
coal-fired unit and the 920-MW H.F. Lee and 620-MW Dan River
natural gas fired plants.
Duke said in a release the new plants represented a combined
investment of nearly $3.65 billion and were completed within
The company said the new unit at Cliffside allowed it to
retire four 1940s-era coal units at the site totaling 198 MW in
October 2011, and to commit to retiring another 1,469 MW of
older coal generation in North Carolina.
Duke also said it upgraded the existing 562-MW Unit 5 at
Cliffside by adding a scrubber in 2011 to reduce sulfur and
other acid gases.
With the retirements and upgrades, Duke said the Cliffside
site now generates more than twice the electricity with 80
percent less sulfur dioxide and half the nitrogen oxide and
mercury than it did previously.
Progress Energy Carolinas, a unit of Duke, retired three
older coal units totaling 382 MW and four combustion turbines at
the H.F. Lee Plant earlier this fall.
Duke also said it retired 276 MW of coal capacity at the Dan
River site in the spring of 2012 and all three older combustion
turbines in the autumn.
Duke said construction is also under way at the 625-MW
natural gas combined-cycle facility at the Sutton plant in North
Carolina, where 575 MW of older coal-fired generation will be
retired. The new Sutton gas plant is expected to enter service
by the end of 2013.
In addition to investing nearly $6 billion in new plants
since 2007 and retiring as much as 6,800 MW of older coal
capacity, Duke said it has invested another $7.5 billion for
plant upgrades to reduce emissions.
Separately, Duke expects its 618-MW Edwardsport coal
gasification plant in Indiana to enter commercial service in mid
2013. The $3.3 billion plant has already produced electricity in
test mode. See