May 11, 2008 / 5:10 PM / 11 years ago

Duke Energy signs deal on 620 MW gas power plant

WILMINGTON, N.C., May 11 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Carolinas has contracted to build a 620-megawatt gas-fired power plant at a cost of $275 million, the Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N) subsidiary said in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company’s contract with Shaw Group Inc SGR.N calls for construction of a combined cycle, natural gas-fired power plant at Duke’s Buck Steam Station on the Yadkin River between Charlotte and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to the filing, made late on Friday.

The plant is subject to approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which is expected to act in the next four or five weeks, Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said by e-mail on Saturday.

Duke plans to begin operating the plant in simple cycle mode by the summer of 2010 and combined cycle mode a year later, the filing said.

Duke said in December that two older, coal-fired units will be retired at the Buck Steam Station.

The utility said the new plant is part of its long-term plan to add generation and modernize its fleet of power plants, which includes a similar gas-fired plant at Duke’s Dan River Steam Station, an 800-MW coal-fired power plant under construction at Cliffside, North Carolina, and a 1,117-MW nuclear power plant proposed for operation in 2018 at a South Carolina site,

Duke Energy Carolinas’ operations provide nearly 21,000 MWs of electricity to more than 2.3 million customers in North and South Carolina. (Reporting by Jim Brumm, editing by Jane Sutton and John Wallace)

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