Duke foresees 30%-40% gas need increase at Moss Landing

Natural gas supply needs at Duke Energy North America's Moss Landing power plant in California will grow 30%-40% when it begins operation in 2002, say Bill Hall, vice-president of the Duke Energy Corp.'s California operations. Duke Energy North America received final approval from the California Energy Commission Oct. 25 to upgrade the existing plant and add 1,060 Mw of new capacity to the site's current 1,500 Mw. The plant received a seawater discharge permit Friday.


Natural gas supply needs at Duke Energy North America's Moss Landing power plant in California will grow 30%-40% when it begins operation in 2002, say Bill Hall, vice-president of the Duke Energy Corp.'s California operations

Duke Energy North America (DENA) received final approval from the California Energy Commission Oct. 25 to upgrade the existing plant and add 1,060 Mw of new capacity to the site's current 1,500 Mw. The plant received a seawater discharge permit from the local water board Friday.

During a conference call Monday, Hall said Duke has received reassurances from units of PG&E Corp. the supply infrastructure will be available to handle the extra load. Duke had gas delivery problems in southern California this summer and is working with the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to insure adequate infrastructure is available, Hall said.

Nancy DeSchane, vice-president of DENA's western trading, said the company has a "strong physical" gas presence in the West to supply its new generating assets and will work to maintain them in the future.

Duke also reported it has refiled with the California Energy Commission an application for certification to modernize the 1,000 Mw Morro Bay power plant. Hall said project has been expanded to include complete replacement of the existing plant with a new one that will be smaller and cleaner while producing more electricity. The new 1,200 Mw facility represents a $600 million investment. If the certification is received, DENA expects to bring the new plant on line by summer 2003 and demolish the existing plant by 2007, he said.

Duke focused on redevelopment of existing power plants sites, thinking the approval process would be quicker and than for new sites.

"But brownfield has been just as difficult as greenfield," Hall observe.

He declined to elaborate on the disclosure that it has signed long-term wholesale contracts with Pacific Gas & Electric, a unit of PG&E Corp., that will allow the utility to hedge a portion of its power needs. DeShane said the power will be acquired through the energy trading and marketing organization and it will be delivered to North Path 15.

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