GOLDSBORO, N.C. - Duke Energy Progress' demolition specialist this morning imploded the smokestacks at the retired H.F. Lee Steam Plant as part of the companys ongoing effort to transition to cleaner energy sources.
This was the first of two implosion events that will occur at the site. The second will demolish the boilers and is scheduled for the spring of 2014.
Duke Energy's ultimate goal for retired coal-fired sites such as H.F. Lee is to dismantle the equipment and buildings, and restore the site to ground level. After the second implosion event, Duke Energy will be able to complete demolition activity and begin restoring the land.
Restoration involves filling, grading and seeding the land. The company plans to complete this phase by late-2014 and will continue to own and steward the land in the future.
The coal plant served the region for more than 60 years and today's event marks a milestone in the history of the site.
Duke Energy replaced the coal plant with a new 920-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired combined cycle plant that began serving customers in December 2012.
Duke Energy's investment in five new plants, including the one located at the H.F. Lee Energy Complex, totals $9 billion. The new, state-of-the-art technology allows the company to retire approximately 3,400 MW of older coal units by the end of 2013. That number will grow to nearly 6,300 MW over the next few years.
These retired plants will enter the decommissioning and demolition program and move through a process similar to H.F. Lee's.
Video footage of today's implosion event is available at youtube.com/DukeEnergyMediaCtr.
Pictures of the implosion event and energy complex are available at flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/sets/72157638807460714/.
Customers interested in learning more about the decommissioning project can visit 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.