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Duke Energy adapts power plans

Published by
World Coal,

Community feedback indicated concerns about on Duke Energy’s plan for Western Carolina’s modernisation project. As a result, Duke Energy has decided to create a new plan for its proposed infrastructure upgrade for the project. The company indicated this requires a stepped-up effort to work with customers and interested groups to expand participation in programs to reduce peak power demand and grow renewable energy and associated technologies.

The new plan has a two-phased approach to adapt the Asheville power plant site. The company will replace the coal plant in Asheville with two smaller highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle 280 MW units on the site rather than one large one, new units that will be designed to operate with a dual fuel source so oil can serve as emergency backup and plans for a utility-scale solar power plant on the site.

Consequently, the company has indicated the proposed 230-kV Foothills transmission line and Campobello substation connecting the coal-fired plant in Skyland with the Asheville facility is no longer necessary and will not be carried out.

Duke Energy emphasised that the revised plan will have significant environmental and customer benefits, such as estimated sulfur dioxide reduction of 90 – 95%, mercury will be removed and water discharges will be reduced by approximately 50%.

"I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this process for their input and patience, including those who sent us more than 9000 comments regarding our proposed transmission line and overall project," stated Lloyd Yates, Duke Energy's Executive Vice President for market solutions and President of the Carolinas region. "We believe the process worked.

"We have been committed to developing a plan to maintain the region's power reliability with the least possible impact on communities, property owners and the environment from the start of this effort, and we believe our revised plans accomplish those goals," continued Yates. "While the previous plan was more robust and scaled for the longer-term, the new plan balances the concerns raised by the community and the very real need for more electricity to serve this growing region," said Yates. "We're eager to ramp up our efforts in working with the community to reduce power demand across the region through energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy and other technologies to work collectively to avoid building additional generation in the area for as long as possible."

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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