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Investing In Our System

Modernizing our system

Our customers count on us to deliver reliable electric service every day. Providing that high quality of service requires that we make regular investments in our power plants, and in the lines that carry power from the plant to your home.

Since our last rate case in 1987, Duke Energy Progress has invested nearly $11 billion in the power systems that serve our customers. Those investments have helped us maintain a reliability rate of 99.97 percent, ensuring that power is available where and when our customers need it.

More than 70 percent of our proposed rate increase will be used to pay for significant investments made to retire older, less-efficient coal-fired power plants and build cleaner, natural gas-fueled plants. The proposed amount also includes the construction of transmission lines needed to carry electricity from these plants to the communities that we serve.

Natural gas-fueled plants emit about half as much carbon dioxide as coal-fired plants. The switch to natural gas also virtually eliminates emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, and reduces mercury emissions.

Learn more about our two newest natural gas-fueled plants, which represent an investment of more than $1.3 billion:

  • Sherwood H. Smith, Jr., Energy Complex – Hamlet, N.C. – A new, nearly $600 million natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle unit began commercial operation in mid-2011. With an additional existing combined cycle unit, and five combustion turbine units, the facility has 1,904 MW of gas-fueled generating capacity.
  • Wayne County plant – Goldsboro, N.C. – A new 950-megawatt natural gas-fired plant, representing a total investment of about $900 million, is planned to begin commercial operation in early 2013.

We are also constructing a new, 600-MW combined-cycle unit at the Sutton Plant in Wilmington, N.C., which is scheduled to begin operation in 2014.

Duke Energy Progress is in the midst of retiring 30 percent of its N.C. coal-fired power plant fleet. These plants have served our customers reliably for more than 50 years, but are much less clean and efficient to operate than technologies available today.

Retiring these plants now will help to keep rates lower in the long-term, and provide environmental benefits for decades to come. Learn more about coal plants we have recently retired:

  • W.H. Weatherspoon Plant – Lumberton, N.C. – The three-unit, 172-MW plant was retired on Oct. 1, 2011. The plant had been in continuous operation since the late 1940s.
  • H.F. Lee Plant – Goldsboro, N.C. – The three-unit, 397-MW plant was retired on Sept. 15, 2012. The coal units had been in operation since the 1950s.
  • Cape Fear Plant – Moncure, N.C. – The two-unit, 316-MW plant was retired on Oct. 1, 2012. The coal units have been in operation since the 1950s.
  • L.V. Sutton Plant – Wilmington, N.C. – The three-unit, 600-MW L.V. Sutton Plant, which began service in the 1950s is scheduled for retirement by 2014, following the completion of a 600-MW natural gas-fueled combined-cycle plant on the site.


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