- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - An energy company with a power plant in the South Carolina Midlands says a new Duke Energy plant near Asheville is unnecessary.

Media outlets report that Columbia Energy says it can provide more than 500 megawatts of power for the Asheville area from its Gaston, South Carolina, plant.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission last week agreed to allow Columbia to intervene in the commission’s consideration of a proposal by Duke Energy Progress to build an Asheville plant.

Columbia Energy wrote the commission that it can provide the needed power to Duke.

But Duke says building two gas-fired units in Asheville remain its best option and that new electrical capacity needs to be generated locally.

The commission is expected to rule by March 1 on allowing construction of the new plant.

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