Duke Energy plans to self-build a 1,640-megawatt power plant in Florida next to the shuttered nuclear plant it retired last year.
The combined-cycle plant’s two units will be fueled by natural gas. The plant will go up adjacent to Duke’s Crystal River complex in Citrus County and is expected to cost $1.5 billion.
Duke’s Florida state president, Alex Glenn, called the self-build decision “the most cost-effective option” for customers.
The new plant will be fueled by gas shipped through a new pipeline that Sabal Trail Transmission is building from Alabama to central Florida.
The Crystal River complex houses the nuclear plant and two coal-fired plants that Duke will retire when the new gas plant opens in 2018.
The nuclear plant was shuttered after a botched repair led to structural problems in its concrete containment structure.
A settlement the Florida Public Service Commission approved in October let Duke start recovering from Florida customers $135 million of the plant’s value this year. The remaining value of the plant, nearly $1.5 billion, will be recovered over 20 years.
The settlement also let Duke pass to customers $350 million to wind down a canceled engineering and construction contract for a new nuclear plant in Florida’s Levy County.
The N.C. Utilities Commission has to approve the new Crystal River project – and two others Duke announced Tuesday – before they can go forward. Duke expects a ruling later this year.
Duke said it will build two gas-fired turbine generators at its Suwanee plant near Live Oak. The generators will have a capacity of 320 megawatts when they go online in 2016 and cost $197 million.
Duke will also install upgrades at its gas-fired power plants at the Hines complex in Polk County, spending $160 million to add 220 megawatts to their output.
Duke Florida serves 1.7 million customers, making it Duke Energy’s second-largest of the six states it serves.
Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less