Duke Energy Florida nears completion of state-of-the-art natural gas plant

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  • The 1,640-megawatt natural gas plant in Citrus County will provide reliable energy to 1.8 million customers across 35 counties

  • New plant will further reduce carbon emissions, allow retirement of coal-fired units

(Editor's note: The change to residential customers' base rate has been updated from a previously posted version of this news release.)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Duke Energy Florida's state-of-the-art natural gas plant in Citrus County is on track to deliver cleaner, more reliable energy for Floridians.

The 1,640-megawatt combined-cycle, two-unit plant will use clean-burning natural gas and highly efficient technology to provide reliable and cleaner energy to 1.8 million Florida customers in 35 counties.

"Our customers expect and deserve cleaner energy, and building highly efficient natural gas infrastructure is critical to delivering on our commitment to a low-carbon energy future," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president. "Natural gas is also an important part of our modernization strategy to continue delivering energy that is cleaner while meeting the growing energy needs of Floridians. More than ever, we are determined to make smarter energy investments that will benefit our customers and build the cleaner energy future we all want."

Since 2005, Duke Energy Florida has decreased its emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides significantly – sulfur dioxide by 91 percent, nitrogen oxides by 75 percent and carbon dioxide by 21 percent. The new plant will help further reduce carbon emissions.

Over the next decade, Duke Energy Florida also will make targeted investments in new solar power plants and battery storage technology to help meet our customer needs for cleaner, more reliable energy.

The new Citrus plant's unit 1 (820 megawatts) is expected to start serving customers in September 2018, and the plant's unit 2 (also 820 megawatts) is expected to start serving customers in November 2018.

Once the new plant is in operation, the company will retire its Crystal River coal-fired units 1 and 2, which were built in 1966 and 1969, respectively. These units make up half of the company's coal-fired power plants in Florida.

Construction and related activities are expected to have an area economic benefit of more than $600 million during construction and $13 million annually when operating.

Currently, more than 2,800 workers are involved in the construction of one of the nation's most advanced and efficient natural gas power plants. Between 50 and 75 workers will operate and maintain the plant once construction is complete.

Florida Public Service Commission filing

Duke Energy Florida filed a request today with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover investment costs associated with the Citrus plant.

For unit 1, residential customers' base rate would increase by $3.59, starting with the October billing period. Commercial and industrial customers would see a 2.5 to 3.5 percent increase.

For unit 2, residential customers' base rate would increase by $2.25, starting with the December billing period. Commercial and industrial customers would see a 1.5 to 2.1 percent increase.

If the proposed changes are approved, Duke Energy Florida's residential rates will remain below the national average for electric utilities.

Building a Smarter Energy FutureSM

Duke Energy is determined to get better and provide more reliable, secure and increasingly clean energy to all of its customers. To meet the needs of its customers, no matter where they live, the company is planning to make targeted investments over the next 10 years that will build a stronger, smarter and more resilient electric grid.

Whether Duke Energy is preparing for powerful storms or the growing energy demands of the state, customers expect and deserve perfect power – power that stays on – and, if an outage occurs, power that comes back faster than ever before.

By hardening the electric infrastructure, investing in targeted undergrounding, installing smart meters that provide customers with the information they need and building an intelligent energy grid that instantly reroutes power around most outages, Duke Energy will build a smarter energy future for all of Florida.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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Contact: Ana Gibbs
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