Duke Energy nuclear plants achieve record performance in 2016

Share This Story

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy’s 11 nuclear generating units enjoyed a record-breaking 2016, providing the Carolinas with nearly 90 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity.

That’s enough electricity to power 7.5 million homes – more homes than are in North Carolina and South Carolina combined.

“Much of our success this past year was based on enhancements in outage planning and execution, along with our ongoing commitment and focus on continuous improvement,” said Bill Pitesa, Duke Energy chief nuclear officer. “The lower costs of nuclear fuel, coupled with shorter refueling outages, continue to be a major factor in keeping our customers’ costs down.”

Here are some of the nuclear fleet’s 2016 accomplishments:

  • The 11 generating units achieved a combined capacity factor of 95.72 percent, a new fleet record, marking the 18th consecutive year of attaining a 90-plus percent capacity factor (a measure of reliability).

  • McGuire Nuclear Station’s two units established a station-best 12-month generation record of nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours.

  • Catawba Nuclear Station unit 1 set a 12-month record, cranking out more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, and Catawba unit 2 had its longest continuous operating run.

  • The two-unit Brunswick Nuclear Plant generated more than 15 billion kilowatt-hours, a new record. Brunswick also completed its shortest refueling outage ever.

  • Oconee Nuclear Station unit 2 provided a record of more than 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over 12 months, and units 1 and 3 completed their shortest refueling outages ever.

  • Harris and Robinson nuclear plants each achieved record six-month generation during 2016 – producing more power over that time period than ever before.

In total, the nuclear plants generated nearly 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2016, compared to 88 billion kilowatt-hours in 2015 – these additional 2 billion kilowatt-hours are enough to power more than 2,500 schools.

“Our nuclear employees continue to show their commitment to our customers by ensuring our nuclear stations operate reliably year-round to deliver clean electricity to power the Carolinas,” added Pitesa. “Our team is proud of these 2016 accomplishments and continues to focus on finding additional enhancement opportunities to better serve our customers.”

Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet




Commercial date


Brunswick County, N.C.

1,870 MW



York County, S.C.

2,310 MW



Wake County, N.C.

928 MW



Mecklenburg County, N.C.

2,316 MW



Oconee County, S.C.

2,554 MW



Darlington County, S.C.

741 MW


About Duke Energy

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. The company also distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its commercial business operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Rita Sipe

Office: 704.382.8609

24-Hour: 800.559.3853