Duke Energy Florida announced plans Tuesday to construct two simple-cycle combustion turbine generators at the Suwannee Plant near Live Oak that will help increase efficiency and power output.
The company said it will build the generators on 68 acres at the Suwannee Plant. The 320 megawatts of generation will accommodate peak electricity demand and serve customers beginning in 2016. The company stated the cost would be approximately $197 million, including financing costs.
“The three steam plants built in the 1950s are slated to be retired in 2016 when the combustion turbine generators become operational,” it was stated in a press release.
It was announced that Duke Energy will help employees through the plant retirements and redeploy as many as possible to other positions within the company.
Duke Energy also plans to construct a state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County and will install new equipment at the Hines Energy Complex near Bartow.
The plans must be approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
Officials also announced the retirement timeline for two coal-fired units at the Crystal River Energy Complex.
"We are making these investments to continue providing our customers with the most cost-effective energy solutions and highest level of reliability with limited environmental impact," said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida. "We are committed to ensuring our customers' energy needs are met 24 hours a day, seven days a week now and in the future."
The gas plant in Citrus County will be a 1,640-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant to help serve about 1.7 million customers starting in 2018. It will cost about $1.5 billion, including financing costs.
The plant will receive natural gas through a new pipeline Sabal Trail Transmission is constructing. The pipeline will start in Alabama, extend through Georgia and end in Central Florida. Sabal Trail Transmission will license, construct and operate the gas pipeline.