Duke Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has opened a 750 MW combined-cycle natural gas plant at the W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, SC.
Duke closed two coal-fired units at the same location in 2014 and converted a third coal unit to natural gas in 2015.
In 2015 Duke Energy announced plans to retire its Asheville, NC, coal-fired power plant within five years and modernize its power generation and transmission system in western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. The company no longer operates any coal plants in South Carolina.
Construction of the $700 million W.S. Lee Station plant started in March 2015. The project created more than 600 construction jobs and provided about $12 million in work to local subcontractors, Duke said.
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation, providing 19,600 MW of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina.
In 2016, North Carolina regulators granted Duke Energy a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct two 280 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle units in Buncombe County near Asheville, NC. Once operational, the new gas-fired capacity will replace Duke’s existing 376 MW coal plant in Asheville, which the utility said it will retire by 2020.