Duke Energy Corporation (DUK 0.89%) announced today that it plans to build three natural-gas-fired power plants in Florida to help cover the Sunshine State's energy demands.

Duke Energy has been busy over the past few years retiring coal-fired power plants across its energy portfolio, and Florida is no exception. The planned 2018 closure of the state's Crystal River Steam Plant will cut capacity by 875 MW, leaving a generation gap to fill.

"We are making these investments to continue providing our customers with the most cost-effective energy solutions and highest level of reliability with limited environmental impact," said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy Florida State President, in today's press release. "We are committed to ensuring our customers' energy needs are met 24 hours a day, seven days a week, now and in the future."

The plans call for one $1.5 billion 1,640 MW combined-cycle natural gas plant, as well as two simple-cycle combustion turbine generators with a total estimated cost of $197 million, with 320 MW worth of generation power. 

The combined-cycle plant would allow Duke Energy Corporation to efficiently pull more power from waste heat, while the simple-cycle generators would fire up only during peak hours. The Florida Public Service Commission will review Duke's plans. The company expects a ruling later this year. Duke expects the plants to come online in 2018.