Duke Energy has fully commissioned the 1,640MW Citrus power plant, a combined-cycle natural gas plant built in Citrus County, Florida with an investment of $1.5bn.
With an 820MW capacity, the first unit of the Citrus power plant entered into operations in late October, while the second unit, also with the similar capacity, was placed into service recently.
The power plant, which broke ground in March 2016, created over 2,800 temporary construction jobs. Duke Energy said that nearly 50 permanent workers are handling the operations and maintenance of the power station.
Put together, the two natural gas-fired units of the plant are capable of meeting the power consumption needs of 1.8 million customers of Duke Energy across Florida.
The Citrus power plant has been built at the 2,276MW Crystal River Energy Complex in Crystal River along Florida’s Gulf Coast, nearly 136.8km north of Tampa.
Previously, Duke Energy announced its plans to retire coal-fired units 1 and 2 of the Crystal River Energy Complex following the full commissioning of the Citrus power plant. The utility said that the two coal-fired units will officially retire this month with the demolition process expected to carry on till 2023.
According to Duke Energy, the Citrus power plant includes two power blocks with each of them housing two combustion turbines and a steam generator. The utility claims that the new power station will bring down sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other emissions by 90% compared to the two operating coal-fired units at the Crystal River Energy Complex.
Duke Energy Florida fossil/hydro operations vice president Jeff Swartz said: “The high-tech facility represents a $1.5 billion investment in Citrus County, surrounding communities and Florida – underscoring our continued commitment to our customers and the environment.
“The station will provide a smarter energy future for Floridians by generating cleaner, more efficient energy.”
The Citrus power plant is fed by natural gas sourced via the new 828.8km Sabal Trail pipeline. The underground natural gas pipeline, which has been laid with an investment of $3.2bn, begins in Alabama, runs through Georgia and ends in central Florida.
Duke Energy owns a 7.5% stake in the Sabal Trail pipeline with Spectra Energy Partners and NextEra Energy being the other owners.