Duke Energy is asking state regulators for permission to expand its gas-fired turbine power plant in Lincoln County. Duke says the project is needed to meet a growing demand for electricity during winter and summer months.
"We're doing it because we have a need for peaking power in the 2024 time frame," spokesman Rick Rhodes said Tuesday.
Duke filed its application with the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday.
The project calls for installation a new gas-fired unit to be installed at the Lincoln County site, which opened in 1995. It would add 400 megawatts of generating capacity to the plant's existing 1,200 megawatts.
Duke has hired Siemens as its contractor. Siemens says the project will be the first for a new production line in Charlotte, and will allow it to test new, more efficient technology. Siemens says the new unit will be 25 percent more efficient than the plant's existing turbines.
In a press release, Duke said the new unit would save money. "This new technology will provide us with flexible peaking power needed to complement intermittent solar energy resources for our customers and lower emissions across our fleet," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president.
The project's cost is not being disclosed. If the state Utilities Commission gives the go-ahead, construction could start in 2018, with full operation by 2024.
Duke also needs approval from the state Division of Air Quality for emissions from the new unit.
June 12, 2017, Duke Energy filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
June 13, 2017, Siemens.com, "Duke Energy and Siemens enter innovative agreement for advanced gas turbine technologies"