Duke Energy Florida plans new gas capacity, keeps new nuclear in the picture

Duke Energy Florida‘s (DEF) Base Expansion Plan includes summer capacity uprates at the Hines Energy Center through the installation of Inlet Chilling, a combined cycle facility in 2018 in Citrus County, a purchase and proposed acquisition of Calpine‘s Osprey Energy Combined Cycle Unit in Auburndale and four planned Combustion Turbine Units at an undesignated site(s) in 2024.

DEF, which is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), said in an annual Ten-Year Site Plan filed April 1 with the Florida Public Service Commission that it continues to seek market supply-side resource alternatives to enhance DEF’s resource plan and has extended a purchase power agreement with Southern Power Co. beginning in 2016. In addition to total summer existing capacity resources mentioned above, DEF is planning to install 500 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity over the next 10-year period as an energy resource.

The promulgation of the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) by EPA in 2012 presents new environmental requirements for the DEF units at Anclote, Suwannee and Crystal River.

  • Two steam units at Anclote and three steam units at Suwannee have switched to natural-gas-only operations in order to comply with the MATS rule. Residual Fuel Oil is no longer available at these two sites.
  • Crystal River Units 1 and 2 are not capable of meeting the emissions requirements for MATS in their current configuration and using coal. Also, under the Clean Air Visible Haze Rule, these units are required to cease coal-fired operation by the end of 2020 unless scrubbers are installed prior to the end of 2018. DEF has received a one-year extension (until April 2016) of the deadline to comply with MATS for Crystal River Units 1 and 2 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This extension was granted to provide DEF sufficient time to complete projects necessary to enable interim operation of those units in compliance with MATS during the 2016–2020 period.
  • DEF anticipates burning MATS compliance coals in Crystal River Units 1 and 2 beginning no later than April 2016. Although specific dates have not been finalized, DEF anticipates retiring the Crystal River Units 1 and 2 in 2018 in coordination with the 2018 Citrus Combined Cycle operations.
  • DEF has received a one-year extension of the deadline to comply with MATS for Crystal River Units 4 and 5 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This extension to provide DEF sufficient time to complete projects necessary to enable long term operation of these units in compliance with the MATS. 

Besides the two coal units, there are oil and gas units to be retired

DEF continues to look ahead to the projected retirements of several of the older units in its fleet, particularly combustion turbines at Higgins, Avon Park, Turner and Rio Pinar as well as the three steam units at Suwannee. There are many factors which may impact these retirements including environmental regulations and permitting, the unit’s age and maintenance requirements, local operational needs, their relatively small capacity size and system requirement needs.

The projected combustion turbine retirements are:

  • Avon Park P1 (24 MW net summer, gas) and P2 (24 MW net summer, oil), both in June 2016;
  • Higgins P1 (20 MW net summer), P2 (25 MW net summer), P3 (32 MW net summer) and P4 (32 MW net summer), all fired by gas, all to retire in June 2020;
  • Rio Pinar P1 (12 MW net summer, oil), retire June 2016; and
  • Turner P1 (10 MW net summer), P2 (10 MW net summer), P3 (53 MW net summer), P4 (59 MW net summer), all oil-fired, retire in June 2016 for P1, P2 and P4, and retire in July 2015 for P3. 

Also to be retired are three gas-fired units at the Suwannee River plant, with Unit 1 (28 MW net summer) and Unit 2 (29 MW net summer) to be retired in June 2017, and Unit 3 (71 MW net summer) in June 2018.

New additions would be through a new plant, additions to an old one, and a plant buy

Citrus County is a 1,640-MW (net summer) combined-cycle facility planned for a site next to the Crystal River plant. The four planned new CTs, at an unspecified site or sites, would total 811 MW (net summer) of capacity.

Calpine’s to-be-purchased Osprey Energy Center is currently in operation and holds all the environmental permits required. It is a 537-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility located in Auburndale, Florida. Land uses adjacent to the Osprey Site include the Tampa Electric Recker Substation and existing Tampa Electric 230-kV transmission line, a 150-MW cogeneration plant, a 120-MW combustion turbine power plant, and the City of Auburndale cemetery.

Although the proposed Levy Nuclear Project is no longer an option for meeting energy needs within the originally scheduled time frame, Duke Energy Florida said it continues to regard the Levy site as a viable option for future nuclear generation. So it will continue to pursue the combined operating license outside of the Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause with shareholder dollars as set forth in a 2013 Settlement Agreement. The company continues to monitor developments that could affect the future viability of new nuclear development in Florida, including the recently proposed federal Clean Power Plan which could place a premium on carbon free generation. The company will make a final decision on new nuclear generation in Florida in the future based on, among other factors, energy needs, project costs, carbon regulation, natural gas prices, existing or future legislative provisions for cost recovery, and the requirements of the NRC’s combined operating license.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, DEF had total summer capacity resources of 11,408 MW consisting of installed capacity of 9,154 MW and 2,254 MW of firm purchased power.

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.