The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Oct. 28 approved a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction by NTE Carolinas LLC of a 475-MW natural gas-fired combined cycle merchant generating facility.
Under this approval, construction has to be begin within three years, with the project consisting of one Mitsubishi Hitachi M501GAC combustion turbine, one heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG), and one Mitsubishi Hitachi (or equivalent) steam turbine located in Cleveland County, North Carolina.
NTE Carolinas during this case testified that a significant amount of competitively priced capacity will be required in the region as evidenced by the Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) of Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC), Duke Energy Progress (DEP), and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G). These three investor-owned utilities have substantial needs based on their growth forecasts.
- DEC forecasts its annual growth at 1.2% for residential, 1.8% for commercial, and 0.9% for industrial resulting in a need for additional capacity through 2028 of 4,164 MW.
- DEP’s November 2012 IRP stated a retail demand growth of 1.2% after adjusting for demand-side management. Over the next 15 years, DEP is planning to add an additional 4,722 MW of capacity to its generation portfolio, with combined cycle capacity accounting for 3,119 MW of the total.
- Lastly, SCE&G’s February 2013 IRP forecasted additional capacity needs of 1,693 MW. A portion of this additional capacity stems from the retirements of 640 MW of baseload capacity spread between 2017 and 2018.
The Kings Mountain project website said the expected investment in this facility is over $450m and that it is due for commercial operation in early 2018.