Thanks to the No New Coal listserv for this one: Duke Energy wants to build a 620 MW gas plant at their Yadkin River site. They’re planning for it to be a combined cycle plant, which means that it will use gas to create electricity and then use the waste heat to create steam to generate further electricity. Here’s another site that diagrams the anatomy of a combined cycle plant. Energy Justice has a great page that describes the hazards of natural gas.
It seems absurd that Duke Energy would need so much capacity. Here’s the count: 800 MW at Cliffside, 630 MW at Edwardsport, Indiana, 1100 MW with new proposed nuclear plants, and 620 MW in natural gas. Sure, growth is enduring, but if there’s going to be an excess of 27,000 megawatts of power on the grid in the Southeast by 2016 according to the Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (thank you Planet Ark and Reuters), then something doesn’t add up. There will be way too much uncommitted energy on the grid, and ratepayers will have to pick up the tab.