Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) announced today that it plans to build a 750 MW natural gas power plant at the site of an existing South Carolina coal-fired facility.

This announcement is the latest in a long series of modernization moves by Duke Energy. Just three days ago, the utility revealed plans for three new natural gas-fired Florida plants totaling nearly 2,000 MW of generation capacity.

"Natural gas-fired combined cycle plants are a good match to meet the significant energy needs of our customers over the next 15 years, and are expected to be an important part of the future Duke Energy Carolinas generation portfolio," said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy State President of South Carolina, in today's press release. "They are very efficient in the production of electricity using natural gas as fuel and have very low plant emissions."

Unlike single-cycle plants, combined-cycle technology allows energy producers to capture additional power from wasted heat previously considered unharnessable. This results is more electricity at less cost.

Duke Energy also plans to take advantage of existing infrastructure to cut costs and reduce its environmental impact. Construction is expected to begin next summer, with full commercial operation by late 2017.