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Industry News

Duke Announces Plans to Install New Electric Generating Capacity in Florida

LCG, May 14, 2014-Duke Energy Florida yesterday announced plans for three major power generation projects: the construction of a gas-fired, combined-cycle natural gas plant; the addition of two simple-cycle combustion turbine generators at the Suwannee Plant; and the installation of new equipment at the Hines Energy Complex near Bartow to increase efficiency and power output. In summary, the capacity additions total 1,860 MW of combined-cycle capacity plus 320 MW of simple-cycle peaking capacity.

Duke also announced the schedule to retire two coal-fired units at the Crystal River Energy Complex. The company plans to submit the plans to the Florida Public Service Commission for approval on May 27 and anticipates a Commission ruling later this year.

Duke Energy state president - Florida said, "We are making these investments to continue providing our customers with the most cost-effective energy solutions and highest level of reliability with limited environmental impact. We are committed to ensuring our customers' energy needs are met 24 hours a day, seven days a week now and in the future."

Following the issuance of request for proposals last fall, Duke Energy Florida selected its self-build option to build a 1,640-MW combined-cycle facility in Citrus County on a 400 acre site that is adjacent to the existing Crystal River Energy Complex. The estimated cost to build the facility is approximately $1.5 billion, including financing costs. The first 820-MW block is scheduled to commence operations in spring 2018, and the second 820-MW block is scheduled for operations by December 2018.

The natural gas supply for the combined-cycle facility will be delivered via a new pipeline to be installed by Sabal Trail Transmission. The gas pipeline will start in Alabama, extend through Georgia and end in Central Florida. Sabal Trail Transmission will license, construct and operate the pipeline.

Duke Energy Florida plans to retire Crystal River coal-fired units 1 and 2 in response to federal environmental regulations. The retirements are planned to occur when the new combined-cycle plant becomes operational.

Duke Energy Florida plans to build two simple-cycle combustion turbine generators on 68 acres at the Suwannee Plant near Live Oak. The new generators will add a total of 320-MW of electric generating capacity to meet growing peak electric loads. The estimated cost to build the units is approximately $197 million, including financing costs, and the additions are scheduled to be operational in 2016. The three steam plants built in the 1950s are targeted for retirement when the new combustion turbine generators become operational.

At the Hines Energy Complex in Polk County, Duke will upgrade its four combined-cycle power blocks by installing inlet air chilling units to increase efficiency and power output during the hot summer months. The inlet air chillers cool the warm, ambient air used during the combustion process and are expected to add approximately 220 MW to the existing 1,912 MW of generating capacity. The estimated cost to install the chillers is approximately $160 million, including financing costs, and the upgrades are planned for completion by 2017.
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