Duke units in North Carolina subtract coal, add gas and nuclear

Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress are making strides to remake their generating portfolios, with the shutdown of non-scrubbed coal capacity, the addition of new gas-fired facilities and possible participation in new nuclear projects.

The two Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiaries on Sept. 9 filed final arguments with the North Carolina Utilities Commission on integrated resource plans (IRPs) they filed with the commission in the fall of 2012. Duke Energy took over Duke Energy Progress (then known as Progress Energy Carolinas) in mid 2012, but since the separate IRPs were pretty well written by then, the two subsidiaries filed separate versions with the commission. The Sept. 9 filing covers both IRPs.

Duke Energy Carolinas has gotten commission approvals for the recently-completed Cliffside 6 coal unit (under a deal that involved shutdown of all but one other coal unit at Cliffside) and for gas-fired combined cycle facilities at the Buck and Dan River plant sites. About 100 MW of nuclear uprates are in the works for the 2013-2015 period, the Sept. 9 filing noted. Plans are to shut down coal-fired generation at the Lee plant in 2014 and to switch the plant’s Unit 3 to natural gas in 2015. Plans are for Duke Energy Carolinas to shut all non-scrubbed coal capacity by 2015.

For Duke Energy Carolinas, the planned new generating additions over the 20-year IRP planning period include:

  • 1,800 MW of new gas-fired simple cycle capacity;
  • 2,100 MW of new combined cycle gas capacity;
  • 2,234 MW of new nuclear; and
  • 758 MW of renewables.

Plans are still being evaluated by Duke Energy Carolinas for the new, 2,234-MW William States Lee III nuclear plant in Cherokee County, S.C. The IRP assumes full Duke Energy Carolinas ownership of this plant, but Duke Energy Progress may take up to a 20% stake in the plant. Duke Energy Progress is also considering a 5% stake in new nuclear capacity at SCANA’s new V.C. Summer nuclear facilities.

For Duke Energy Progress, capacity plans include the 920-MW H.F. Lee gas-fired combined cycle facility, which came on-line at the end of 2012, after the utility’s IRP was filed. In construction and due for completion at the end of this year is the 625-MW Sutton combined cycle facility at Wilmington, N.C.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.