In Carolinas, Duke now getting upwards of 25% of power from gas

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is now generating more than 25% of its electricity from natural gas in North Carolina and South Carolina, Duke CEO Lynn Good said in an Aug. 4 quarterly earnings conference call.

“So if you go back to 2008, 2009, 2010, the Carolina companies had very little generation coming from natural gas,” Good told financial analysts during the call. “That, today, is in the range of 25% to 30% of our energy is coming from natural gas,” Good said.

“So we made an investment in the Atlantic Coast pipeline, [a] $2 billion investment, to bring more infrastructure into the state to provide infrastructure for further development of generation and also services to customers,” Good said, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha.

Duke is investing in both new natural gas power plants as well as interstate natural gas pipelines, Good said.

Duke is in advanced development, or actual construction, of new gas generation in Asheville, North Carolina (as part of the Western Carolinas modernization project), the Lee combined-cycle plant in South Carolina, the Citrus County combined-cycle plant in Florida, the Osprey combined-cycle plant in Florida and the Hines chiller project, which is expected to enter service around Oct. 1.

“We made an investment in Sabal Trail, which is important to Florida, which is already a very gas-heavy area,” Good said. Sabal Trail is a 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline to provide transportation services for natural gas power plants in Florida.

Duke has a 7.5% stake in the Sabal Trail pipeline, which is targeted to be in-service in mid-2017. The project is fully subscribed and will, among other things, served the planned Duke Citrus County combined-cycle gas plant in Florida.

In addition, Duke is acquiring Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY), which will become a subsidiary of Duke. Duke (40%) and Piedmont (10%) are among the owners in the 550-mile Atlantic Coast pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia into eastern North Carolina.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.