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GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, WA-Construction has begun on the Grays Harbor Energy Facility, a $300-million power generating facility expected to supply electricity to Washington and the regional wholesale market by mid-2003.

The natural gas-fired plant, located in the Satsop Development Park, is expected to supply enough energy to light and heat roughly 600,000 households, significantly increasing the availability of power in the region.

“Although the energy crisis does not get the attention it received a few months ago, our state and region still lack sufficient supplies of reliable power,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington says in a news release. “Duke Energy’s new plant at Satsop will generate 600 megawatts of much needed power, as well as family-wage jobs for Grays Harbor County. I commend Duke Energy and the Satsop Public Development Authority for making this project possible.”

The new plant will be constructed on a site acquired from Energy Northwest that is located next to the terminated Satsop nuclear plant projects. While the nuclear plants were never operational, the new plant will use some of the site facilities associated with the partially completed plants, such as the electric transmission and water systems.

Energy Northwest will operate and maintain the plant when construction is complete and has the option to purchase a portion of the plant’s output.

Grays Harbor County Commissioner Bob Beerbower says the generation facility is important to the county’s economic future. “Grays Harbor Energy Facility will add significantly to the local tax base, improve electricity reliability and provide the opportunity for future economic development. The county commissioners believe Duke Energy will be an important part of the Grays Harbor County community and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Jim Donnell, president and chief executive officer of DENA, says the Grays Harbor Energy Facility is an important project for Duke Energy and is a good example of public and private enterprise working together to ensure the necessary energy infrastructure is in place.

“The Pacific Northwest’s need for additional generation is evident. We are excited about the opportunity to work with Energy Northwest to provide power to the state of Washington and the region,” Donnell says.

Northwest Pipeline will extend its existing mainline system to the project site to provide fuel for the facility. Combined-cycle, natural gas technology will be used. It is called a combined-cycle facility because it will use two natural gas turbines and one steam turbine to produce electricity. The steam turbine utilizes the exhaust heat from the gas turbines to produce additional power. This recycling process makes the plant more efficient and helps to conserve resources.

Duke/Fluor Daniel will build the facility and work closely with local labor unions to complete the project. A peak work force of approximately 500 skilled workers will be employed during the construction. When complete, the facility will employ about 25 operation and maintenance professionals.

Duke Energy currently owns 8,000 megawatts in operation and has 5,400 megawatts under construction scheduled to come on line by summer 2002.

The Charlotte, NC-based Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses — generating revenues of more that $49 billion in 2000. Duke Energy is a Fortune 100 company traded on the NYSE as DUK.

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