Robinson Plant ash will be excavated to on-site, lined landfill

Share This Story

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Coal ash from the Duke Energy Progress Robinson Plant in Hartsville, S.C., will be excavated and relocated to an on-site, lined landfill, completing Duke Energy'’s comprehensive strategy for its two South Carolina coal facilities.

"Protecting groundwater, public health and the environment is our guide when it comes to closing ash basins,"said John Elnitsky, senior vice president of ash basin strategy. "The science tells us that excavating ash from the site and relocating it to a new fully lined landfill is the most reasonable and prudent way to accomplish that."

In a filing to state regulators, the company said it will seek to permit a new, state-of-the-art landfill on its Darlington Plant property, a combustion turbine facility immediately adjacent.

Utilities have several options for closing ash basins, including:

  • safely reusing the material instead of soil for concrete or as structural fill;
  • consolidating the material, capping it with a protective barrier and protecting groundwater; or
  • excavating and relocating it to an on- or off-site landfill.

"We've used sound science to test various closure options to develop a custom strategy for the Robinson site," Elnitsky said. "We'll apply that kind of site-specific approach to our other ash basins to ensure we recommend safe, smart solutions."

The company will develop a detailed closure plan and submit it to state regulators by late November. Coal ash will be stored dry in the landfill and will feature multiple layers of synthetic and natural barriers.

The site is home to Duke Energy Progress's 724-megawatt Robinson Nuclear Plant and 177-megawatt Robinson Plant coal unit that retired in 2012. About 4.2 million tons of ash is located at the site, with 3.9 million tons in an ash basin and 331,000 tons located in a fill area. Ash from both locations will be directed to the on-site landfill.

This builds on the company’s recently announced on-site landfills at its Dan River and Sutton plants in North Carolina.

"We are ready to move coal ash at some North Carolina sites as soon as regulators sign off on permits," said Elnitsky. "All we need is a green light."

More information on Duke Energy'’s coal ash management can be found at

About Duke Energy Progress

Duke Energy Progress owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides about 12,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.5 million customers in a 32,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

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