Natural gas is playing a key role as Duke Energy pivots toward a cleaner, lower-carbon energy future, and away from coal-fired electricity generation.
In 2018, the company put into service two new natural gas-fired power plants that replaced older coal plants: the W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina, and the Citrus Combined Cycle Station in Citrus County, Florida.
In 2019, Duke Energy will bring online a third new natural gas power plant that also will replace coal units: the Asheville combined-cycle natural gas plant project in Buncombe County, North Carolina.
Meanwhile, the company has retrofitted two coal units at its Rogers Energy Complex near Cliffside, North Carolina, enabling it to reduce emissions by burning a combination of natural gas and coal – rather than coal only – to produce electricity. Similar retrofitting projects are underway at two other Duke Energy coal plants in North Carolina: Belews Creek Steam Station in Stokes County, and Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County.
In addition, the company is expanding its Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station, a natural gas power plant near Denver, North Carolina, adding a new generation unit that will significantly increase the plant’s electricity output, particularly during high-demand periods. When fully operational in 2024, the new unit will be about 34 percent more efficient than the site’s 16 existing units.
On another front, legal and regulatory work related to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline – partly owned by Duke Energy – continues. The approximately 600-mile underground natural gas pipeline will start in West Virginia and traverse Virginia and eastern North Carolina. The pipeline’s natural gas will be used in Virginia and North Carolina to fuel power plants and industrial facilities; heat homes and businesses; support local economic development; and ensure that natural gas utilities have enough natural gas to meet growing customer demand.