Company dedicates new clean-burning natural gas combined-cycle power plant
RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 22, 2011) – Progress Energy today dedicated the newest power plant at its Richmond County Energy Complex and renamed the entire site to the Sherwood H. Smith Jr. Energy Complex. Smith is the former chairman, president and CEO of Carolina Power & Light Company (CP&L), which is now Progress Energy.
The new 600 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fueled unit began commercial operation June 1. Altogether, the Sherwood H. Smith Jr. Energy Complex has 1,890 MW of gas-fueled generating capacity, making it Progress Energy Carolinas’ second-largest electricity-producing station.
“The Sherwood Smith Energy Complex is a vital part of our plan for meeting the needs of the 1.5 million households and businesses that depend on us to deliver reliable, affordable and environmentally sound energy 24 hours a day,” said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of Progress Energy. “It is fitting that we rename this state-of-the-art complex for Sherwood Smith because his leadership from the 1960s to the 1990s pushed our company in new directions that made us more technologically advanced and more environmentally sound. He provided outstanding leadership and dedicated his career and life to improving the quality of life for the people of North Carolina and South Carolina.”
Smith joined CP&L in 1965 and served the company for 35 years. During his tenure, Smith held various leadership roles, including president, chairman and CEO. During this time, CP&L’s customer demand, plant capacity and capital structure grew significantly. Smith led CP&L to balance the construction of new plants (including nuclear, coal and gas/oil-fired facilities) with energy-efficiency programs to encourage conservation.
Under his leadership, CP&L led the electric utility industry in safety, and earned industry honors for many aspects of company performance, including plant operations, storm response and customer service.
Among Smith’s many civic efforts and achievements, he served as chairman of the N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry, chairman of the Micro Electronics Center of North Carolina and president of the Global TransPark. Nationally, he served as chairman of the American Nuclear Energy Council and chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, as well as a director of the Electric Power Research Institute, the Southeastern Electric Exchange and the Southeast Electric Reliability Council.
Smith has served as chairman of the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies, vice chairman of the Research Triangle Foundation and vice chairman of the board of governors of the Center for Creative Leadership. He has received a variety of awards for both his business success and community contributions. Smith is married to the former Eve Hargrave of Lexington, N.C., and they have three married daughters: Marlin S. Dohlman, Cameron S. Callaway and Evie S. Davis, and seven grandchildren.
Progress Energy completed the latest addition to the Sherwood Smith Energy Complex as part of its plan to modernize the power system and help ensure a future of lower-emission, cost-effective and reliable electricity for its customers. The plant represents an investment of nearly $600 million, provided up to 500 construction jobs at the peak of employment and added 11 permanent positions to the existing complex.
The newest plant has two combustion turbine generating units (capable of running on natural gas or oil, if gas is constrained), and equipment to capture exhaust heat and recycle it to generate more electricity with the same amount of fuel, making it highly efficient.
The plant addition also required Progress Energy to locate, design and build a new 64-mile-long 230-kilovolt transmission power line to deliver the electricity to its customers. This new line runs through Richmond, Scotland, Hoke and Cumberland counties and is a significant upgrade to the reliability of the electric grid.
About Progress Energy
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.
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