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North Carolina to Site 475 MW Gas-Fired Kings Mountain Energy Center

NTE Energy LLC affiliate NTE Carolinas has secured roughly $600 million in financing to build its proposed Kings Mountain Energy Center, a 475 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Cleveland County, NC.

The Kings Mountain facility, an independent power producer, would sell capacity to nine state-owned and municipal utilities in North Carolina and South Carolina under various long-term agreements.

Capital Dynamics managing director John Breckenridge described Kings Mountain as a “critical clean power infrastructure” project that would offer low-cost and reliable electricity to local communities in the region “for many years to come.”

St. Augustine, FL-based NTE said it has agreements for $387 million in senior secured credit facilities through a group of nine financial institutions, led by ING Capital LLC and MUFG Union Bank NA, and $218 million in equity commitments from Capital Dynamics and Wattage Finance-NC LLC.

Gemma Power Systems LLC is building the facility, which would use Mitsubishi’s GAC turbine technology, under contract with NTE Energy Services Company LLC managing the construction.

Kings Mountain is expected to generate 300-400 jobs during construction and 25-30 full-time positions once in operation. The project is targeting a start-up date in 2018.

NTE began construction in October on another 475 MW gas-fired power project, the Middletown Energy Center in Middletown, OH.

Kings Mountain is one of a number of gas-fired power projects planned for operation over the next few years in the Southeast, including Florida Power & Light Co.’s roughly 1,250 MW Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center and the 1,600 MW Okeechobee Clean Energy Center (see Daily GPI, Jan. 6).

Meanwhile, Duke Energy Corp. has proposed a 1,640 MW gas-fired combined cycle facility in Citrus County, FL. Duke also recently got approval from North Carolina regulators to build two 280 MW gas-fired combined cycle units in Buncombe County near Asheville to replace an existing coal plant there (see Daily GPI, March 1).

This comes as Duke has been making moves to secure future natural gas supply, participating as a joint venture (JV) partner in the $5 billion Appalachian Basin-to-Southeast Atlantic Coast Pipeline and announcing its plans to acquire Piedmont Natural Gas, another JV partner in the project (see Daily GPI, Dec. 24, 2015; Oct. 26, 2015).

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