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State OKs $900M power plant near Goldsboro

Posted October 1, 2009

Progress Energy plans to shutter the H.F. Lee Plant near Goldsboro and replace it with a 950-megawatt gas-fired power plant.
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— The state Utilities Commission on Thursday approved Progress Energy's plans to shut down three coal-fired power plants near Goldsboro and build a state-of-the-art natural gas-fueled plant at the site.

The $900 million plant will create up to 500 construction jobs, company officials said. It will open in 2013 and generate 950 megawatts of electricity, more than doubling the output of the existing H.F. Lee Plant, officials said.

Progress Energy officials said the gas-fired plant also will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 95 percent and would eliminate mercury and sulfur-dioxide emissions.

The three coal-fired units in the Lee Plant, located on the Neuse River west of Goldsboro, were built in 1951, 1952 and 1962.

In 2000, the company built four combustion-turbine units next to the Lee Plant, called the Wayne County Energy Complex, and a fifth combustion turbine was added this year. Those units are used primarily as peaking plants to meet increased demand for electricity on the hottest and coldest days of the year.

The additional generating capacity will be used to meet the demands of a growing customer service area, officials said.

The project also will involve the construction of a natural gas pipeline to fuel the new plan. Company officials said the pipeline would extend large-volume gas supply further into eastern North Carolina, which could be a catalyst for future economic development in the region.

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  • whatelseisnew Oct 2, 2009

    Notice the math here; 900 million will create 500 construction jobs and that sounds about right. Prior to leaving office 744 million in capital projects according to Sleasly was going to create 26000 jobs.

  • bikinibare Oct 2, 2009

    Near Goldsboro???? It is Goldsboro for crying out loud!

  • BeenHereSince67 Oct 2, 2009

    We need to do a number of different things to reduce pollution as well as our 'carbon footprint', but this type of power plant is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a much greener form of power, but on the other, if it is making 900 Megawatts, can you imagine HOW MUCH natural gas that thing will consume? Who will get the gas in a time of shortage - the power plant or 250,000 homeowners who heat and cook with it? Duh ... Doesn't take much thought to see that this could cause natural gas prices to skyrocket if there is ANY disruption in the supply. For that matter, since this is a totally new burden on the gas supply system, you can bet that rates will start to go up even before the thing comes on-line. Progress Energy is simply doing this so they don't have to spend any $$$ fixing and cleaning up their coal plants. Just wait and see what natural gas costs a year after that plant opens. Modern nuclear plants (and that's pronounced: New-Clee-Er) are the way to go.

  • oldrebel Oct 1, 2009

    Now if we could just get those coal fired power planrs to the west of North Carolina to do likewise. The people in that region of the nation enjoy the power produced by those plants, but we , especially our mountains of North Carolina, suffer that air borne pollution which drifts ever eastward for the most part.

  • lizard Oct 1, 2009

    I'm an oout of work cop. How can all these contruction jobs help me?

  • SaveEnergyMan Oct 1, 2009

    Natural gas is more expensive and LESS efficient than coal. What it does is reduce CO2 emissions because a lot of energy in gas is from converting the hydrogen in the fuel to water. The water leaves up the stack as high energy water vapor, which is why gas is less efficient than coal (which makes less water vapor when burned).

    The energy used to generate power will go up, and the fuel is more expensive. Of course, Progress can raise your rates because fuel prices go up very easily.

    So why do it? Because it will reduce its CO2 emissions and won't have to invest in cleanup technology for NOx and SOx. With carbon taxes a real possibility, this reduces their risk there too.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 1, 2009

    Ah yes, I can smell the rate hike coming.

  • JustLivin Oct 1, 2009

    When does the work begin? Can someone please tell me who is going to be doing the construction? I've got love ones looking jobs....Thanks