By Chris Woodrum and Eric TuckerPublished Dec 05, 2018 08:45:37A new power plant in North Carolina could be on the way by 2025 and it will use a new fuel cell that uses renewable energy to produce electricity.
Duke Energy said it is in the early stages of construction of the Power Plant 3 and has secured funding for a $3.4 billion project.
The company has secured a $1.4 million loan from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the company said.
The project would create the state’s first large-scale fuel cell plant, which is estimated to generate 20 percent of the state´s electricity.
The power plant will be the first of its kind in the U.S.
Dukes project would produce enough energy to power 1.6 million homes and employ nearly 400 people.
The plant is expected to begin operating by 2023.
The plant is part of Duke´s larger plan to diversify its energy supply, which will include expanding into a new business of fuel cell electric vehicles and developing an alternative fuel that uses biofuel and methane.
In the U, it is not uncommon for businesses to build a plant or two to meet demand and then use the proceeds to build new plants or develop new products, said Dan Kelleher, a Duke Energy spokesman.
But the company has no plans to build such a plant at this time.
“It is not something that we are currently pursuing right now,” Kelleer said.
He said the company is also not pursuing any other major expansion projects, including new plants to supply the coal industry.
In North Carolina, the state has one of the nation’s highest energy bills.
Duke said it expects to pay $2.8 billion in energy costs in 2021, $1 billion in 2021 and $1,000 million in 2021.
Duke and other utilities in North Dakota and Pennsylvania have begun moving toward building more power plants to replace older ones that have failed due to aging equipment.
In 2019, Duke was awarded a $5.4-billion loan from New York state, and in 2020 it received $5 billion from New Jersey, which has also announced it would use a $4.9 billion loan from D.N.J. to help build a power plant.
The company is expected at the end of 2021 to be able to begin selling fuel cells to customers.
The state of North Carolina has committed to paying for the plant, but the company needs more money from the state.
The state said the project would pay for itself within five years and the price of fuel cells would be about 10 cents per kilowatt hour.