LUMBERTON, N.C. - After more than two years of planning and preparation, Duke Energy will begin demolishing the retired Weatherspoon coal-fired power plant this fall.
The demolition process will last several months and will include implosion of the powerhouse and chimneys.
Duke Energy's long-term vision for sites with retired coal units such as Weatherspoon is to safely return them to ground level using a method known as decommissioning and demolition. This multi-year process involves cleaning and removing equipment, deconstructing the buildings and powerhouse, and restoring the site.
"We are committed to decommissioning the Weatherspoon Plant safely and effectively, as a good steward of the environmental resources entrusted to us," said David McNeill, Duke Energy district manager. "By retiring the older, less efficient coal units, we have the opportunity to modernize our generation fleet to better serve our customers. Duke Energy will have retired seven of our 14 coal plants in the state by the end of 2013 as part of our investments to meet customers' needs in cleaner ways."
In the first phase, changes at the site will be less noticeable, but during the final stages of the demolition process, local neighbors and community members may notice the removal of larger structures from the site.
The demolition contractors plan to move equipment to and from the site by rail and truck; however, the local community should not be significantly impacted.
As it prepares to close ash basins at retired plant sites, Duke Energy is evaluating multiple, site-specific closure options to ensure high water-quality protection, while balancing the many interests of customers. The company will continue to update the community as the process advances.
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.