Duke Energy has celebrated the ceremonial opening of its new 1,640MW Citrus Combined Cycle Station located about 136.7km north of Tampa, at the Crystal River Energy Complex in Citrus County, Florida.

5Apr - Duke Energy

Image: Citrus Combined Cycle Station is spread over a 5,100-acre site at the Crystal River Energy Complex. Photo: Courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation.

Citrus Combined Cycle Station is spread over a 5,100-acre site featuring two power blocks, four combustion turbine generators and two steam turbine generators, providing the latest technology.

Duke Energy chairman, president and CEO Lynn Good said: “Our $1.5 billion investment in the new Citrus Combined Cycle Station is another example of the cleaner, smarter energy future we’re creating for our customers.

“This highly efficient, state-of-the-art natural gas station is delivering significant economic and environmental benefits to Florida customers and communities.”

The new Citrus station is expected to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other emissions by 90%, compared to the operation at the two 1960s-era Crystal River coal-fired units, which were formally retired in December 2018. 

Furthermore, the citrus station has economically benefitted more than $600m during its construction and is expected to provide approximately $13m annually during its 35-year operational life.

During construction, the project has created approximately 3,000 temporary construction jobs and provided work for more than 100 companies across the world and approximately 50 full-time employees are operating and maintaining the Duke Energy station.

Citrus county commissioners board chairman Jeff Kinnard said: “Economic development in every community needs a solid cornerstone. In Citrus County, that foundation is Duke Energy. We are pleased to participate in the celebration of this new state-of-the-art facility and congratulate Duke Energy on its success.”

The new station operates on natural gas supplied through the new 830km Sabal Trail pipeline that starts in Alabama, extends through Georgia and ends in Central Florida. Duke Energy holds a 7.5% ownership in the pipeline, which is worth $3.2bn.

Crystal River city mayor Joe Meek said: “Duke Energy continues to have a great local presence – its employees are woven into the fabric of our community. With this investment, that presence will continue for generations to come.”