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Duke Firing Up New Asheville Gas Capacity, Coal Units Done by Jan. 31

21 January 2020

Duke Energy Progress LLC told the North Carolina Utilities Commission in a January 8 update that it is making progress with start-up of new gas-fired capacity at the Asheville coal plant site.

In March 2016, the Commission approved the two-unit Asheville Combined Cycle Project (280 MW for each unit, 560 MW total), which also involves retirement of the two existing coal units at the site (combined 384 MW). This is called the Western Carolinas Modernization Project.

On December 27, 2019, the new Power Block 1 and the common systems that serve both combined-cycle units went into commercial operation. Power Block 1 consists of the Unit 5 Combustion Turbine and Unit 6 Steam Turbine Generator.

Power Block 2 consists of the Unit 7 Combustion Turbine and Unit 8 Steam Turbine Generator. During final testing and commissioning, Power Block 2 experienced an equipment issue with the Unit 8 Steam Turbine Generator, which the original manufacturer is repairing. Duke said it expects to place the Unit 7 Combustion Turbine portion of Power Block 2 into commercial operation in simple-cycle mode in January. DEP currently expects to place the Unit 8 Steam Turbine Generator into commercial operation in the first quarter of 2020, after equipment repairs and final testing have been completed.

"DEP continues to plan to retire the Asheville Coal Units 1 and 2 by January 31, 2020, and to have sufficient generation capacity to reliably serve DEP customers," the utility added.

Reprinted from PointLogic News. For more natural gas news from IHS Markit, visit the PointLogic website.

Barry Cassell is an Energy Editor at IHS Markit.

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