In Florida, the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline and Citrus County natural gas-fired power plant.

Lower-Carbon Energy: Natural Gas Pipelines, Power Plants

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Natural gas continues to play an expanding role in Duke Energy’s ongoing transformation into a cleaner, lower-carbon energy provider as the company increasingly moves away from coal-fired electricity generation.

Two new underground interstate natural gas pipelines, partly owned by Duke Energy, took major steps forward in 2017:

  • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline received several state and federal government approvals, allowing partial construction to begin in early 2018. The approximately 600-mile pipeline – which will start in West Virginia and traverse Virginia before ending in North Carolina – is scheduled to open in late 2019.

    The pipeline will fuel advanced natural gas power plants that are replacing aging, higher-carbon, coal-fired plants. The pipeline also will fuel new industrial development in several economically challenged counties in eastern North Carolina – bringing thousands of new, higher-wage jobs for the region’s workers and critically needed new tax revenue for cash-strapped local governments.

  • Meanwhile, a second new pipeline – Sabal Trail – opened after 18 months of construction, bringing a significant new supply of natural gas to Florida to fuel power plants and industry in that heavily gas-dependent state. The 515-mile pipeline begins in Alabama and traverses southern Georgia before terminating in central Florida.

Simultaneously, construction of new natural gas-fired power plants continued in Anderson County, S.C. (opening in 2018); Citrus County, Fla. (opening in 2018); and Buncombe County, N.C. (opening in 2019). The three plants will replace older coal-fired generating units at each location. The new plants also will complement the company’s growing use of solar and wind facilities, whose power output is intermittent.

Natural gas continues to play an expanding role in Duke Energy’s ongoing transformation into a cleaner, lower‑carbon energy provider.