Duke Energy Florida’s natural gas plant in Citrus County is nearing completion and expected to begin operations soon.
The 1,640MW combined-cycle, two-unit plant will use clean-burning natural gas and latest technology to provide reliable and cleaner energy to 1.8 million Florida customers in 35 counties.
Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris said: “Our customers expect and deserve cleaner energy, and building highly efficient natural gas infrastructure is critical to delivering on our commitment to a low-carbon energy future.
“Natural gas is also an important part of our modernisation strategy to continue delivering energy that is cleaner while meeting the growing energy needs of Floridians.
“More than ever, we are determined to make smarter energy investments that will benefit our customers and build the cleaner energy future we all want.”
Since 2005, Duke Energy Florida has decreased its emissions of sulfur dioxide by 91%, nitrogen oxide by 75% and carbon dioxide by 21%, and the new plant will help further reduce carbon emissions.
Unit 1 (820MW) of the new Citrus plant is expected to start serving customers in September 2018 and unit 2 (820MW) in November 2018.
After the new plant becomes operational, the company will retire its Crystal River coal-fired units 1 and 2, built in 1966 and 1969 respectively, which make up half of the company’s coal-fired power plants in Florida.
Over 2,800 workers are currently involved in the construction of the natural gas power plant and 50 to 75 workers will operate and maintain the plant after construction.
Duke Energy Florida plans to make targeted investments in new solar power plants and battery storage technology over the next decade to help meet customer needs for cleaner, more reliable energy.
The company has also filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover investment costs associated with the Citrus plant.
Duke Energy Florida provides 8,800MW of owned electric capacity to 1.8 million customers in a 13,000m² service area.