Coal Plant Decommissioning Program
Decommissioning Program: Behind the Scenes
Duke Energy is committed to providing affordable, reliable, increasingly clean electricity. Older, less efficient coal plants are being replaced by advanced technology, powered by natural gas and cleaner coal.
Part of this commitment includes safely dismantling these older plants, part of a complex, multi-year process known as decommissioning and demolition. By the end of 2013, Duke Energy will have retired units at nine coal-fired generation sites in the Carolinas. The long-term vision for sites with retired coal units across our system is to return them to ground level.
Understanding the process
During the early stages of the decommissioning and demolition project, we will remove chemicals and other materials, salvage what equipment we can recycle and repurpose at other sites and sell any scrap material. In the demolition and restoration phases, we will safely remove the powerhouse, chimneys and any auxiliary structures no longer needed and then fill, grade and seed the land.
This approach is best suited to ensure continued safety, security and environmental compliance at the site in the future, both for the company and the community. Duke Energy will continue to own and steward these properties, and some of them are home to other types of generation.
The decommissioning project also extends to some of our older natural gas combustion turbine units across the generation fleet. These sites will move through a similar process as the coal-fired units.
Ash basin closures
We plan to close ash basins once they are no longer needed, in close coordination with state regulators. We are evaluating multiple closure options to ensure we select methods that provide high water quality protection, while balancing the many interests of our customers. Duke Energy is hiring additional technical experts to perform scientific and engineering studies to recommend the most appropriate closure method for each site.