Duke begins construction on 750-MW Lee gas-fired project in South Carolina

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) in July kicked off construction on a 750-MW gas-fired project at its Lee power plant site in South Carolina, though that project is subject to legal appeal.

Said Duke in its Aug. 7 quarterly Form 10-Q filing with the SEC: “On April 9, 2014, the [Public Service Commission of South Carolina] granted Duke Energy Carolinas and North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Convenience and Necessity for the construction and operation of a 750 MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating plant at Duke Energy Carolinas’ existing William States Lee Generating Station in Anderson, South Carolina. Duke Energy Carolinas began construction in July 2015, and estimates a cost to build of $600 million for its share of the facility, including allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC). The project is expected to be commercially available in late 2017. NCEMC will own approximately 13 percent of the project.

“On July 3, 2014, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy jointly filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals of South Carolina seeking the court’s review of the PSCSC’s decision. The case has been fully briefed and is pending in the Court of Appeals. Duke Energy Carolinas cannot predict the outcome of this matter.”

The Form 10-Q noted on another gas-fired project: “On April 15, 2015, Duke Energy Progress filed a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) application with the [North Carolina Utilities Commission] for approval to construct an 84 MW black start combustion turbine (CT) project at the existing Sutton Plant (Sutton Black Start CT Project). The Sutton Black Start CT Project would replace three existing CTs with total capacity of 61 MW with two new 42 MW CT units with black start and fast start capability. In addition to peaking system capacity, the Sutton Black Start CT Project will provide regional black start capability and tertiary backup power services for the Brunswick Nuclear Plant. In June 2015, the Public Staff of the NCUC recommended the NCUC approve Duke Energy Progress’ application. On August 3, 2015, the NCUC issued an order granting the application and requiring annual construction and cost progress reports.”

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.