Our Progress

icon bulldozer

 

Permanently closing ash basins

Duke Energy is committed to responsibly managing our coal ash in a safe and sustainable way. The company has taken important steps to strengthen its operations and develop thoroughly researched closure plans.

Second Quarter 2018

  • Completed permanent water supply projects for plant neighbors around the Cape Fear, H.F. Lee and Allen facilities and are more than 80 percent complete with projects across the state.
  • Completed the transition to dry bottom ash handling technology at the Belews Creek and Cliffside sites, meaning all ash there is now being managed in on-site, lined landfills.
  • Secured the necessary permits from state regulators to build a new coal ash recycling unit at the Buck plant in Salisbury. This is the first of three units to be constructed in North Carolina to reprocess coal ash for use in the construction industry. Already the company is recycling 70 percent of the ash it is producing.
  • Completed mechanical demolition of the retired Riverbend facility near Charlotte as part of ongoing work to modernize the energy mix that serves customers.   
  • Shared this Lake Norman fact sheet with members of the community to address questions related to ash operations and lake water quality.

First Quarter 2018

  • Through May 2018, the company has excavated nearly 18 million tons of coal ash, relocating the material to lined storage or to be recycled for use in the construction industry. Work continues at four sites to permanently close ash basins through excavation.
  • Continued strong efforts to recycle coal ash. For example, across the fleet in 2017, about 70 percent of the ash generated in the production of electricity was reused.
  • Engineering and planning continue to safely close all of the company’s ash basins. Projects that will allow us to manage all ash dry will be completed by the end of this year. In addition, work continues on lined retention basins to redirect water flows at operating plant sites.   
  • Demolition work is ongoing at a number of older, retired coal plants including Riverbend near Charlotte, which was featured in this report by WFAE.
  • Early 2018 saw an increase in visible activity related to the installation of permanent new water supplies for plant neighbors across the Carolinas. Work crews have been active in every eligible neighborhood installing new water lines or robust water filter systems.   

  • Fourth Quarter 2017

    • Continue to excavate ash from the Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.), Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.) and Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.) to fully lined, permanent solutions.
    • Preparation work continues for ash basin closure in the Midwest and Carolinas. This includes conversion projects that will allow us to manage all ash dry and the construction of new, lined retention basins to redirect water flows at operating plant sites. 
    • Continue installing permanent water solutions for North Carolina plant neighbors. This includes new water main and service line connections in some communities and whole-home water treatment systems in others.
    • Continue retired coal-fired plant decommissioning and demolition projects at sites in the Carolinas and Midwest.
    • Completed ash excavation project at W.S. Lee Station (Belton, S.C.) to a fully lined, permanent solution.

    Third Quarter 2017

    • Began permitting process for the ash reprocessing units at the Buck and H.F. Lee sites. Each unit will reprocess about 300,000 tons of ash annually to make it suitable for use in concrete products. Planning continues for the third unit at the Cape Fear site.
    • Hosted community information session for Buck site reprocessing unit.
    • Announced a new coal ash recycling project at the Weatherspoon site in Lumberton, N.C. The ash will be sent to cement kilns in South Carolina. This is an update to previous plans, which were to use the Weatherspoon ash in structural fills.
    • Began installing permanent water solutions for North Carolina plant neighbors. This includes new water main and service line connections in some communities and whole-home water treatment systems in others.

    Second Quarter 2017

    First Quarter 2017

    • Hosted information sessions for our North Carolina plant neighbors to learn more about permanent water plans
    • Received preliminary approval from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) of its plans to offer new, permanent water supplies to eligible neighbors near its North Carolina coal plants.
  • Fourth Quarter

    • In 2016 alone, we safely moved over 5 million tons of coal ash to permanent solutions.
    • Continue to excavate ash from the Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.), Rogers Energy Complex (Mooresboro, N.C.), Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.), Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.) and W.S. Lee Steam Station (Belton, S.C.) to fully lined, permanent solutions.
    • Announced plans to excavate coal ash from four basins at the H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro, N.C., and safely recycle the valuable material for use in concrete products.
    • Announced community-specific recommendations to offer new, permanent drinking water supplies and financial supplements to neighbors near its coal ash basins in North Carolina.
    • Made a $1 million investment in the Cape Fear, N.C., region to promote the ongoing quality and health of public waterways in the area.
    • Posted proposed closure plans for 36 ash basins that are regulated by the federal Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule.
    • On-site landfill construction underway at Sutton Plant and Dan River Steam Station after receiving necessary permits from the state to begin.
    • Implosion events to continue decommissioning work at the retired Sutton Plant and Dan River Station mark new milestones in Duke Energy's campaign to replace older, less-efficient plants with cleaner energy.
    • Announced plans to remove coal ash from three basins at the Buck Steam Station and safely recycle the valuable material for concrete.

    Third Quarter

    • Crews at Riverbend Station have safely moved 100 trains, or more than 850,000 tons of coal ash to a fully lined structural fill at the Brickhaven Mine in Chatham County, N.C. Using trains to move coal ash has kept more than 47,000 trucks off of local roads and highways.
    • Crews at Dan River have safely moved 100 trains, or more than 500,000 tons of coal ash to a fully lined landfill in Amelia County, Va. Using trains to move coal ash has kept more than 27,500 trucks off of local roads and highways.
    • Crews at Sutton Plant have safely moved 100 trains, or more than 750,000 tons of coal ash to a fully lined structural fill at the Brickhaven Mine in Chatham County, N.C. Using trains to move coal ash has kept more than 40,000 trucks off of local roads and highways.
    • Passage of House Bill 630 provides practical solutions to protect the public and the environment, while preserving the flexibility to safely close ash basins in ways that also protect our customers. We are working to meet the requirements of this new law, including providing permanent water solutions to plant neighbors.

    Second Quarter

    First Quarter

    • Began transporting coal ash from our Asheville Plant to the fully lined Cliffside landfill in Mooresboro, N.C.
    • Began the dewatering process at Riverbend Steam Station, which will allow us to safely close the basin.
    • Completed rail systems and began transporting coal ash by rail from Riverbend Steam Station and Sutton Plant to Brickhaven Mine
  • Fourth Quarter

    • Announced proposed on-site landfill to manage remaining coal ash at W.S. Lee Steam Station in Belton, S.C.
    • Started excavation project at Dan River Steam Station to remove coal ash by train and deliver to a fully lined landfill in Amelia County, Va.
    • Began excavating coal ash at the Sutton Plant to the final storage solution at Brickhaven Mine in Chatham Co., N.C., a beneficial reuse project.
    • Started delivering coal ash to the Brickhaven Mine in Chatham County, an engineered structural fill constructed to reclaim an existing clay mine on the site. Watch the video.
    • Began excavating coal ash from an inactive basin at Cliffside Steam Station (Rogers Energy Complex) to an existing on-site landfill, with minimal impact to the neighbors.
    • Imploded the historic Cliffside powerhouse as part of Duke Energy’s modernization effort.

    Third Quarter

    • Finalized a comprehensive $7 million settlement with NCDEQ (formerly NCDENR) that resolves former, current and future groundwater issues at all 14 North Carolina coal facilities, including the retired Sutton plant.
    • North Carolina regulators tested private wells near coal ash basins and wells that are far enough removed from the basins to be unaffected by them. The results show constituents found in private well samples occur naturally at various levels across the state.
    • Submitted comprehensive groundwater assessments to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) for each of the 14 coal plants in the state.
    • Announced that the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will conduct a comprehensive study of the coal ash recycling market and available technologies.
    • Announced demolition plan for retired stacks at Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.).
    • Received the draft wastewater and stormwater permits for Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.) and other facilities in the Carolinas.

      Second Quarter

      • Recommended excavating five basins at the Cape Fear Plant (Moncure, N.C.), five basins at H.F. Lee Plant (Goldsboro, N.C.), one basin at W.H. Weatherspoon Plant (Lumberton, N.C.), and one inactive basin at the Cliffside Steam Station (Mooresboro, N.C.). Read more.
      • North Carolina regulators issued necessary permits to Charah Inc., a vendor engaged in closing ash basins, and its subsidiary, Green Meadow LLC, for structural fill projects at clay mines in Lee and Chatham counties in North Carolina.
      • Began coal ash excavation at Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.) to a fully lined landfill.
      • Announced plans to retire the coal-fired Asheville Plant (Asheville, N.C.) in four to five years and modernize our generation and transmission system in western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina – significantly reducing environmental impacts, improving system reliability and minimizing long-term costs to customers. Read more
      • Began first phase of excavation at W.S. Lee Steam Station (Belton, S.C.), relocating about 1.4 million tons of ash from the inactive ash basin and an ash fill area to a lined landfill in Homer, Ga.
      • North Carolina regulators issued the final industrial stormwater permits for the Allen (Belmont, N.C.), Marshall (Terrell, N.C.) and Riverbend (Mount Holly, N.C.) stations.
      • Announced coal ash from the Robinson Plant (Hartsville, S.C.) will be excavated and relocated to an on-site, lined landfill, completing the comprehensive strategy for the two South Carolina coal facilities. Read more
      • Announced plans to build fully lined on-site landfills at the Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.) and the Sutton Plant (Wilmington, N.C.).

        First Quarter

        • Research from universities, regulators and industry experts increasingly demonstrate that the Dan River is in good condition one year after a coal ash spill at the Dan River Steam Station.
      • Fourth Quarter

        • Submitted filings to state regulators outlining additional ash excavation plans for W.S. Lee Steam Station in Belton, S.C.
        • Submitted detailed coal ash excavation plans to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) for ash stored at the high-priority Asheville Steam Electric Plant (Asheville, N.C.), Dan River Steam Station (Eden, N.C.), Riverbend Steam Station (Mount Holly, N.C.) and L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant (Wilmington, N.C.) facilities. Read more.
        • Announced plans to enhance coal ash management operations with the creation of a national panel of independent experts to help guide the company’s strategy around permanent coal ash storage solutions and a new, centralized internal organization to manage all coal combustion products, including coal ash.

          Third Quarter

          • Announced the creation of a $10 million Water Resources Fund to benefit waterways across North Carolina and South Carolina. The fund can also be used to improve waterways downstream from Duke Energy operations that flow into neighboring states.
          • Announced plans to excavate a portion of coal ash at the W.S. Lee Steam Station (Belton, S.C.), while continuing engineering work on the rest of the site. Read more.
          • Completed cleanup work along the Dan River just upstream of the Schoolfield Dam in Danville, Va., under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

            Second Quarter

            • Completed ash basin-related pipe inspections at North Carolina coal plants and shared those results with NCDENR.

            First Quarter

            • Dan River water quality returned to normal and drinking water remained safe. Read more.