CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Duke Energy is celebrating the opening of it’s newest power plant in Florida. The Citrus County plant has a new clean and efficient way of powering customers across the state.
The new Citrus Combined Cycle Station produces 90% less pollution than the two 1960s coal-burning plants it’s replacing. That’s because instead of coal, its using cleaner and less expensive natural gas.
"The natural gas pipeline that powers this plant begins in Alabama and moves east into central Florida," said Lynn Good, Duke Energy CEO.
The gas burned produces enough energy to power 1.8 million homes and businesses. It produces more than 1600 megawatts of power. Just one-megawatt powers 800 average homes.
Water pumped in from the gulf is used to cool everything down. Most power plants release steam, but the new plant uses steam to produce more power. Then the water is cooled before being piped back into the gulf.
"What we like to say is this is number one on the stack. This power plant is the first to go on and the first to deliver power to our energies because it is the more cost competitive and the cheapest way we can produce power for our customers," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida President.
The $1.5 billion plant is being run from a control room by two guys who monitor everything closely 24/7.