Duke Energy Corporation has received the final OK from state environmental regulators to build a coal-fired power generator in western North Carolina.
The Charlotte-based utility received its final air permit yesterday, and company officials said they plan to begin construction immediately.
The generator is an upgrade to Duke Energy's Cliffside plant about 50 miles west of Charlotte. Construction is expected to take four years, and officials said it will create 1,600 new jobs with a total payroll of about $100 million.
The cost of the plant stands at $2.4 billion.
The project has been strongly opposed by environmental groups that said the generator will lead to more carbon dioxide emissions. They also accuse Duke Energy of not fully considering the use of renewable fuels, such as solar or wind power.