Duke Energy Progress customers receiving 560 megawatts of cleaner energy from new natural gas power plant in North Carolina

Duke Energy Progress customers in North Carolina and South Carolina are receiving 560 megawatts of cleaner energy from the company’s new state-of-the-art Asheville Combined Cycle Station in Arden, N.C.

The new station generates enough energy to serve about 450,000 homes.

The $817 million station includes two electricity-producing power blocks with four generators and more than 18,000 components. The first 280-megawatt power block came online in December 2019, and the second 280-megawatt power block became fully operational in April 2020.

As part of the project, Duke Energy shut down a 1960s-era coal-fired power plant at the Asheville site in January 2020. Demolition of the coal plant is underway, with completion expected in 2023.

The Asheville Combined Cycle Station is Duke Energy’s most efficient plant in the Carolinas – and 75% more efficient than the retired coal plant it replaced.

Customers in North Carolina and South Carolina benefit dollar for dollar from this efficiency through lower power plant fuel costs.

“Customers want cleaner, more reliable energy, and we’re committed to delivering on this expectation,” said Kevin Murray, vice president of project management and construction. “By building the new Asheville station, we’re significantly reducing air emissions – including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides – and continuing to move toward our companywide goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2030.”

Because natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, carbon dioxide emissions at the site have dropped by about 60% per megawatt-hour in comparison to the now-retired coal plant. Sulfur dioxide is expected to decrease by 99% and nitrogen oxides by 40%. Mercury has also been eliminated.