Duke Energy Progress’ Sutton Gas Plant Commences Service

February 2014, Vol. 241 No. 2

Duke Energy Progress’ new 625-megawatt (MW) L.V. Sutton combined-cycle natural gas plant has begun serving North Carolina and South Carolina customers. The $600-million plant replaces the existing three-unit, 575 MW coal-fired plant that the company recently retired after 59 years of service.

The new plant uses state-of-the-art technology and air quality controls that result in significantly lower emissions than those of the coal plant it replaces. The following figures are compared to coal plant operations in 2007:

– Sulfur dioxide will be reduced by 99%
– Nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 97%
– Carbon dioxide will be reduced by 41%

Duke Energy has invested $9 billion in the last 10 years to build several advanced natural gas and coal plants in North Carolina and Indiana. The new plants will allow retirement of nearly 6,800 MW of older coal and large oil-fired units.

Sutton’s first coal unit began operating in 1954; two additional units were added in 1955 and 1972, respectively. Duke Energy will begin a multiyear decommissioning process that will result in deconstructing the coal units and closing the site’s coal ash basins to protect groundwater.