LUMBERTON, N.C. - Duke Energy Progress' demolition specialist this morning imploded the retired W.H. Weatherspoon Plant as part of the company's longstanding effort to transition to cleaner energy sources.
After more than four months of demolition activity at the site, this milestone dramatically transforms the landscape where the coal plant had operated safely and reliably for more than 60 years.
Duke Energy's ultimate goal for retired sites such as Weatherspoon is to dismantle the equipment and buildings, and restore the site to ground level. The implosion event at Weatherspoon allows the company to complete the demolition work and begin restoring the land.
Restoration involves filling, grading and seeding the land to prevent erosion and protect water quality. The company plans to complete this phase by mid-2014 and will continue to own and steward the land.
Duke Energy has invested $9 billion in the last decade in building some of the cleanest natural gas and coal plants possible, with high efficiency and state-of-the-art emissions controls.
This allows the company to retire nearly 6,800 megawatts (MW) of older coal and large oil-fired units. Nearly 6,300 MW of the capacity Duke Energy will retire is coal, which represents 25 percent of its coal fleet. By the end of 2013, Duke Energy will have retired more than 3,800 MW of this older coal capacity.
These retired plants will enter the decommissioning program and will move through a demolition process similar to Weatherspoon's.
Video footage of the implosion event will be available at http://www.youtube.com/DukeEnergyMediaCtr as soon as possible.
Customers interested in learning more about the decommissioning project can visit http://www.duke-energy.com/coal-decommissioning.
About Duke Energy Progress
Duke Energy Progress, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to nearly 1.5 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., and serves a territory encompassing more than 34,000 square miles including the cities of Raleigh, Wilmington and Asheville in North Carolina and Florence and Sumter in South Carolina. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.
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: www.duke-energy.com.