Duke Energy implodes historic coal units at retired Cape Fear power plant in Moncure, N.C.

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MONCURE, N.C. - With one final blast, Duke Energy's retired, coal-fired Cape Fear power plant in Moncure passed into history today, marking both the end of major demolition at the site and the end of an era.

Duke Energy's contractor this morning imploded the plant’s two coal units, which began operating in 1956 and 1958, respectively.

"“It's been an honor to spend most of my 40-year career at the Cape Fear Plant and watch as the region has grown up around us. We've been an important part of that growth,”" said Danny Wimberly, Duke Energy's manager of demolition and retirement at the site.

"“While it's a bittersweet day for many employees who enjoyed their years working at the site, it also demonstrates our continued progress in modernizing the way we produce energy,”" Wimberly said. “"We'’re building on a legacy that began with power plants like Cape Fear, and continues today with new power plants that generate electricity more efficiently and cleanly than ever before. That’s something all of us are proud of.”"

The plant began operating in 1923, producing affordable power and advancing industrial and residential growth in eastern North Carolina.

Two of the site's six coal-fired units were retired in 1977 and two in 2011.

The remaining two coal-fired units, along with one of four oil-fired combustion turbine units on site, were retired in October 2012 as part of the company's transition to cleaner, more efficient generation sources.

The smokestacks and emission-control equipment were imploded in 2014. The remaining infrastructure at the site will be mechanically removed in the coming months.

The company is now focused on restoring the land, and continuing scientific and engineering studies to inform ash basin closure plans for the site’s five ash basins.

Video of today’s implosion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeDckeYvoJY

Photos of plant and implosion: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/sets/72157653992187732

For more information about the decommissioning process, visit duke-energy.com/coal-decommissioning.

To learn more about Duke Energy’s ash management plans, visit duke-energy.com/ash-management.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $121 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.