Duke Energy Florida nears completion of state-of-the-art natural gas plant

US-based electric power holding company Duke Energy Florida has revealed that it is on schedule to deliver clean and reliable energy through its natural gas plant, being built in Citrus County.

The new 1.6GW combined-cycle, two-unit plant has been designed to generate energy using new technology and clean-burning natural gas.

Each unit of the natural gas plant will have the capacity to generate 820MW of power, with the first expected to begin operations in September, while the second unit will start operating from November.

Upon completion, the plant is expected to generate enough energy to serve 1.8 million customers throughout 35 counties in Florida.

Currently, the company has engaged more than 2,800 workers for the construction of natural gas power plants, and intends to employ around 75 workers to operate and maintain the plant once construction is complete.

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.”

Once the new plants become operational, Duke Energy intends to stop working at its Crystal River coal-fired units 1 and 2 that were built in 1966 and 1969 respectively.

Duke Energy Florida is also planning to invest in new solarpower plants, as well as in battery storage technologies over the next decade to meet its customer’s needs for cleaner and reliable energy.

Since 2005, the energy company has made efforts to significantly reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide, as well as nitrogen oxides. In addition, the new plant will help further reduce carbon emissions.