A power plant under construction in northwest South Carolina has added several million dollars to the local economy, including more than 600 construction jobs and about $12 million in work to local subcontractors, such as fencing and site-clearing companies.
Other businesses in Anderson County, S.C., have experienced a boost from construction of Duke Energy’s natural gas plant. Just ask Pam Harrison, a manager at the Smokin’ Pig restaurant in Williamston. “We offer the best butts in town,” she said. “The Duke plant, they give us a lot of business.”
Two years ago, crews started clearing about 55 acres at W.S. Lee Steam Station to build a 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant. Testing is to begin in May, and the plant is expected to start serving about 2.5 million customers in the Carolinas in November 2017.
With 17,391 cubic yards of concrete poured – enough to fill a football field as high as a cross bar on a goal post – 150 miles of cable and wire in place and 27 miles of underground pipe and conduit installed, construction is more than 80 percent complete.
This project represents a substantial long-term investment in the W.S. Lee Steam Station, surrounding communities and environment.
Environmental control technologies will reduce plant emissions, and water pulled from the Saluda River will be significantly less than the previous coal-fired plant. With the closing of two coal-fired units in 2014 and a conversion of a third unit to natural gas in 2015, Duke Energy Carolinas no longer operates any coal plants in South Carolina.