Duke Energy SC Gas-Fired Plant Starts Up – Marcellus Connection?

W.S. Lee combined cycle gas-fired plant – click for larger version

We spotted news from Duke Energy that the company has begun operations at a brand new natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Anderson County, South Carolina. The W.S. Lee Station is a 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant that began serving customers on April 5. Duke began construction of the $700 million plant in 2015. It sits on the same site as two former coal plants that were shuttered in 2014. A third coal plant at the site was previously converted to burn natgas. Why do we care about a new electric plant launching in SC? Because it’s fed by natural gas, and we believe at least some of (perhaps most of) the gas feeding it comes from the Marcellus/Utica region. According to Duke’s press release, “The unit receives natural gas through a new dedicated pipeline that branches off the transcontinental mainline.” We’re pretty sure they’re referring to the Williams-owned Tranco (Transcontinental) Pipeline that crosses through Anderson County. Transco is the pipeline feeding the new power plant. Transco is bidirectional and increasingly carries Marcellus molecules south–some molecules all the way to the Gulf Coast (see Is Marcellus/Utica Gas Getting Exported from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass?). It stands to reason that it is Marcellus gas feeding, at least in part, this new plant located in Dixie…

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