The William States Lee III Nuclear Station is a planned two-unit nuclear power plant. Duke Energy filed the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application for the plant on December 13, 2007 to the NRC. With this application, Duke Energy was the fourth company to apply for a license under the new procedure, and the license will be modeled after the Bellefonte NPP application that was filed by NuStart Energy two months prior, which is possible because both plants will use the AP1000 standard design. Duke expects to receive the COL for Lee in 2012. The first unit could come on line about 2016-2018.
In December 2007, Duke Power announced that it would spend $160 million in 2008 on the plant and that total costs could range 5–6 billion dollars. In November 2008, Duke estimated the overnight cost of the plant at $14 billion.