Progress Energy Carolinas Plans Plant Addition,
New Transmission Line
Oct 29, 2007 - PRNewswire-FirstCall
As population and energy usage in southern and eastern
North Carolina continue to grow, Progress Energy Carolinas
plans to invest an estimated $700 million to $750
million in building new electric generation capability
at its energy complex in Richmond County and new transmission
capacity to move electricity to where it's needed.
Progress Energy's continuous assessment of electric
system requirements identified the need for the project
to be in service by mid-2011, to help ensure a continued
reliable supply of electric service to homes and businesses.
Ensuring state-of-the-art power plants and delivery
systems is a critical part of Progress Energy's balanced
solution for meeting the needs of a service area growing
by 25,000 to 30,000 households and businesses each
year. The company also is focused on significantly
increasing energy efficiency (through a variety of
customer programs under way or in development) and
on responsible investments in renewable energy technologies.
The new power unit - an approximately 570-megawatt
(MW) combined-cycle plant fueled primarily by natural
gas - is planned for the company's existing Richmond
County Energy Complex south of Hamlet. The complex
is the company's third largest in the Carolinas, with
more than 1,230 MW of existing gas-fueled electric
generation. No additional property offsite is needed
to accommodate the power plant addition.
To ensure that the power produced at the new plant
moves efficiently and reliably to where it is needed
to meet growing customer demand, Progress Energy also
plans a new 230-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line of
approximately 64 miles between electric substations
in Richmond County and Cumberland County. The easternmost
portion of the line will be on the property of Fort
Bragg Army Base.
The new transmission line will begin at Progress
Energy's Richmond County Energy Complex switchyard,
south of Hamlet, and end at a substation on Woodruff
Street on Fort Bragg Army Base.
Progress Energy expects to complete the plant and
transmission line construction by June 1, 2011. Transmission
line route selection, easement acquisition, additional
engineering and design and other milestones will occur
before construction gets under way. The project will
require approval by the N.C. Utilities Commission
and other agencies, as well as the Progress Energy
board of directors.
The in-service date is based on current information.
In-service dates for projects of this sort sometimes
move based on changes in growth and usage projections
and other criteria. The total length of the new transmission
line will depend on the final route selected.
Progress Energy has sent letters to residents whose
property might be affected directly by any of the
potential power line routes.
To give property owners and others a chance to learn
more about the project, Progress Energy will hold
two public information meetings: Tuesday, Nov. 13,
at Leath Memorial Library, 412 E. Franklin St., Rockingham;
and Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Raeford City Hall council
chambers, 315 N. Main St., Raeford.
The meetings will run from 5 to 7 p.m. and will follow
an open-house format, allowing residents to come and
go as they please. Progress Energy representatives
will provide information on the need, schedule and
other aspects of the project. The company also is
seeking input from area property owners and residents
about proposed routing options for the power line.
A final route for the transmission line will be chosen
in the first quarter of 2008, and Progress Energy
expects to base that selection in large part on public
input as well as input from state and federal agencies
with an interest in the project. Acquisition of the
transmission line easements begins in mid-2008 and
is scheduled to continue until mid-2009. Clearing
for the line will begin in mid-2009. Construction
is scheduled to begin in early 2010 and to be completed
by mid-2011. Plant construction is scheduled to begin
in 2009 and be completed in 2011.
The new transmission line will be built on 100-foot-wide
property easements. Progress Energy will be investigating
a number of routing options to determine the route
that poses the least overall impact (to property owners,
the environment, cultural and natural resources, etc.).
Current construction plans call for the line to be
suspended on steel-pole structures (some with guy
wires and some without). The poles are generally 80
to 110 feet above ground and spaced every 500 to 700
feet apart, depending on terrain. Easements enable
Progress Energy to build and maintain the line. Property
owners retain ownership of the land, with some restrictions
on its use.
The project is one of several major transmission
system enhancements planned or under way throughout
Progress Energy's service area as part of the company's
plan to ensure a continuous, reliable flow of electricity
to customers. Building and maintaining state-of-the-art
power plants and delivery systems is a key component
of a balanced solution to meeting future energy needs
- along with increased energy efficiency and investments
in renewable energy technologies.
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.,
is a Fortune 250 energy company with more than 21,000
megawatts of generation capacity and $10 billion in
annual revenues. The company includes two major utilities
that serve more than 3.1 million customers in the
Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy is the 2006
recipient of the Edison Electric Institute's Edison
Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition
of its operational excellence. The company also is
the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D.
Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer
service. Progress Energy serves two fast-growing areas
of the country, and the company is pursuing a balanced
approach to meeting the future energy needs of the
region. That balance includes increased energy efficiency
programs, investments in renewable energy technologies
and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more
information about Progress Energy, visit the company's
Web site at www.progress- energy.com.
SOURCE Progress Energy Carolinas