Duke Energy announces plans to expand 1,065-MW Bad Creek pumped storage by 200 MW

Duke Energy announced plans last week to expand its 1,065-MW Bad Creek pumped storage project by 200 MW, with an anticipated completion date of 2023.

This upgrade was included in the Duke Energy Carolinas Integrated Resources Plan that was filed Sept. 1. The company plans to file a license amendment for this work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017.

Work to increase capacity will involve installing a more efficient and powerful pump-turbine, a new generator and higher-rated generator output circuit breakers.

“The upgrade is part of our strategy to increase renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint,” says Kim Crawford, Duke Energy corporate communications. “The additional energy storage will provide a benefit to more renewables in the region. It will also help meet our winter peak demand in the morning hours — when solar power is typically not available.”

Bad Creek is about 8 miles north of Salem, S.C., and began operating in 1991. The upper reservoir is called Bad Creek Reservoir and the lower is Lake Jocassee. The underground powerhouse contains four pump-turbine and motor-generator units.

Bad Creek provides about 10% of Duke Energy’s power capacity in the Carolinas.

A second Duke Energy pumped-storage facility, 660-MW Jocassee, uses water from Lake Jocassee, which is its upper reservoir. The utility upgraded this plant a few years ago, increasing its capacity by 50 MW.

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