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H.F. Lee Plant

  • Retirement: 2012
  • Capacity:  382 megawatts (MW)
  • Location: Wayne County, N.C.
  • Commercial operation: 1951

H.F. Lee Plant

After serving Wayne County customers for more than 60 years, the H.F. Lee Plant was retired on Sept. 15, 2012. As part of Duke Energy’s commitment to a cleaner, more efficient energy future, three coal-fired units were retired in September 2012 followed by four oil-fueled combustion turbine units in October 2012.

Originally known as the Goldsboro Plant, operation began shortly after the end of World War II, when the electric industry was prospering while electric prices were dropping. Customer demand helped necessitate additional pulverized-coal units in 1952 and 1962, and four oil-fueled combustion turbine units between 1967 and 1971.

In March 1964, the plant was renamed after Harry Fitzhugh Lee, a district manager who retired from Carolina Power & Light after a 45-year career. Lee’s family was well known; he was a great-grandson of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee III, and a grand-nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. However, H.F. Lee’s name, associates said, was synonymous with electric service in Wayne County.

When the retirement was announced in 2009, the company also announced plans to construct a gas-fired combined cycle plant. The 920-MW station began operation in December 2012.

In addition to the retired coal-fired plant, the H.F. Lee Energy Complex includes: