US-based electric power holding company Duke Energy has initiated its new 750MW combined-cycle natural gas plant at the WS Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina.
The energy generated from the new plant is being used by the company to meet the electricity requirements of its 2.5 million customers in South and North Carolina.
Duke Energy South Carolina state president Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe said: “Investing in a smarter, more efficient energy future through projects like the new WS Lee plant is more than just good business – it’s an investment in our state that helps attract jobs and industry and make our economy and communities stronger.
“This project represents a long-term commitment to South Carolina – a $700m investment in the station, environment and surrounding communities.”
The new combined-cycle natural gas has been designed to generate energy more efficiently, as well as significantly lower emissions than coal-fired units.
Duke Energy also noted that it has closed two coal-fired units at the WS Lee Station in 2014 and converted a third coal unit to natural gas in 2015, and no longer operates any plants in South Carolina that use coal as fuel.
The construction of the $700m combined-cycle natural gas plant began in 2015, and the project is reported to have created more than 600 temporary construction jobs and provided $12m in work to local subcontractors during the peak construction phase.
The new plant is also expected to generate $4.4m in tax revenues this year for Anderson County.