Duke seeks to build new natural gas power plant in South Carolina


Oct 28 (Reuters) - U.S. power company Duke Energy Corp's Carolinas unit filed with South Carolina regulators forapproval to build a 750-megawatt natural gas-firedcombined-cycle power plant at its existing Lee power station.

Duke said in a release Friday it filed with regulators inpartnership with North Carolina Electric Membership Corp, whichwill own 100 MW of the project if constructed.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

Duke said it has not made a final decision to build the newLee plant but filed with regulators to keep the process movingforward if it later decides the company needs the plant.

Duke said the Lee natural gas project will create about 500jobs at the height of construction.

If regulators approve of the project, Duke said it couldenter service as soon as June 2017.

Separately, Duke is also pursuing the approval to build twoof Westinghouse Electric's 1,117-MW nuclear reactors at the Leesite. Duke said in May it had already spent about $334 millionto develop the Lee nuclear site.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on its websiteit could decide on Duke's application to build and operate thenew reactors as soon as the end of 2015.

Like the natural gas plant, Duke has said it has not yetdecided to build the new reactors.

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