Approximately $750m will be invested in the construction of a 650MW natural gas-fired power plant, and a solar facility at the site.

Capable of meeting the region’s ever changing voltage and power demand needs, the new gas power plant’s combined-cycle technology will capture and convert exhaust heat into additional electricity.

The plant will also help in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions across the company’s power plant fleet in Carolina.

Duke Energy Carolinas region president and market solutions executive vice-president Lloyd Yates said: "With the availability and near record low cost of natural gas, this comprehensive project will transform the energy system in the region to meet the growing needs of our customers and significantly reduce emissions and water use.

"We’re eager to move ahead quickly on these projects and complete the key components of the plan by the end of 2019."

The decision to decommission comes as the company is facing higher fuel costs. The Asheville facility is being operated to maintain reliable power supply in spite of being – uneconomical.

About $320m will also be spent by the company to construct a transmission substation, a 40-mile transmission line and to modernize electrical infrastructure, to eventually lower environmental impacts and long-term costs to customers.

About 800 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the power plant and electric transmission projects scheduled from 2017 to 2019.