Duke plans natural gas co-firing at Cliffside coal plant in North Carolina

Public Service Co. of North Carolina (PSNC) on Aug. 15 filed, under seal, at the North Carolina Utilities Commission a Natural Gas Pipeline Construction and Transportation Agreement, dated July 28, with Duke Energy Carolinas LLC.

Said the brief cover letter: “Under the Agreement, PSNC proposes to expand its natural gas pipeline system to increase its natural gas transportation capacity to provide long-term natural gas transportation and redelivery service to DEC’s Cliffside Steam Station coal-fired electric power generation units in Cleveland and Rutherford County in order for DEC to utilize natural gas to co-fire such units. PSNC submits that the Agreement is in the public interest and respectfully requests that the Commission allow the Agreement to become effective as filed and authorize PSNC to provide natural gas service to DEC pursuant to the Agreement.”

The cover letter doesn’t offer details, like what would be the percentage level of gas co-firing.

Cliffside Units 1-4 – a total of 198 MW – were retired in October 2011 as part of a clean-air deal that cleared the way for permitting and construction of the new, coal-fired Unit 6, which was completed in 2012. There is also an older Unit 5 still in operation at the site. Both remaining units are fully-equipped with emissions controls, including SO2 scrubbers.

Incidentally, Duke Energy Carolinas on Aug. 15 filed a monthly fuel report with the commission that shows these July 2015-June 2016 statistics for those units:

  • Cliffside Unit 6 (844 MW), baseload, capacity factor of 30% for the twelve-month period: and
  • Cliffside Unit 5 (555 MW), intermediate, capacity factor of 12% for the twelve-month period.

Duke Energy Carolinas is a unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

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.