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Our Progress

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Duke Energy is closing all ash basins across our system, and we've made tremendous progress to accomplish this important work.

To meet that goal and comply with state and federal regulations, we holistically planned upgrades including dry ash handling systems, new wastewater treatment systems and new lined landfills. Thanks to this multiyear effort to engineer, design and construct systems to safely manage ash, plant process waters and stormwater, all new ash produced at our facilities today is being recycled or going to lined landfills.

Systemwide, more than 46 million tons of ash have been excavated to a lined landfill, properly closed in place or beneficially reused such as through recycling into concrete. As announced in January 2020, Duke Energy, state regulators and community groups agreed to a plan to permanently close the company's remaining nine coal ash basins in North Carolina.

Tables outlining North Carolina closure plans and progress as of the settlement date are below. A more recently updated table showing closure deadlines and progress for all ash basins systemwide, including our Indiana basins, can be seen here.

North Carolina basin closure plans announced in January 2020

Plant Basins already excavated
Basins remaining Basin closure method Ash to be excavated
(million tons)
Excavated ash (m/tons) Basin closure deadline2/actual
Allen 2 Excavation 19.36 0 December 2038
Belews Creek 1 Excavation 11.87 0 December 2034
Cliffside 2 Excavation 7.59 0 December 2029
Marshall 1 Excavation of uncapped ash 17.43 0 December 2035
Mayo 1 Excavation 6.63 0 December 2029
Roxboro 2 Excavation of uncapped ash 16.86 0 December 2036
Subtotal for basins addressed in the agreement 9 79.74 0


Previously announced North Carolina basin closure plans

Plant Basins already excavated Basins remaining Basin closure method Basin ash to be excavated
(million tons)
Excavated ash
Closure deadline/actual
Asheville1 1 1 Excavation 1.38 6.94 August 2022
Buck   3 Excavation for recycling 6.65 0 December 2035
Cape Fear   5 Excavation for recycling 5.77 0 December 2035
Cliffside1 1 0 Excavation 0 0.46 March 2017
Dan River1 2 0 Excavation 0 3.99 May 2019
H.F. Lee   4 Excavation for recycling 6.23 0 December 2035
Riverbend1 2 0 Excavation 0 5.35 March 2019
Sutton1 2 0 Excavation 0 7.19 July 2019
Weatherspoon   1 Excavation for recycling 1.68 0.47 April 2028
Subtotal for previously announced excavation 8 14   21.71 24.40  
Total for North Carolina excavation 8 23   101.45 Grand total:
1. Pending regulator review of final closure, figures reflect the completed excavation of the Asheville 1982 Basin (fall 2016); Cliffside Inactive 1-4 Basin (spring 2017); Dan River primary and secondary basins (summer 2019), ash stack 1 and ash stack 2; Riverbend primary and secondary basins (spring 2019), structural fill and cinder pit; and Sutton 1971 and 1984 Basins (summer 2019).

2. Closure dates assume the company receives deadline extensions as outlined in settlement, and exclude post-closure monitoring/maintenance.

2020 Progess

  • Received regulatory approval of closure plans for all our remaining basins in North Carolina, including at the six sites in the agreement announced in January 2020.
  • Began operation of new ash recycling facilities at Buck and H.F. Lee, with another at Cape Fear expected to be running by year-end or early 2021. Once all three are operational, the company will have the capacity to recycle more coal ash than our power plants produce each year in the Carolinas.
  • Completed enclosure of the Dan River and Sutton lined landfills; ash at both sites has been fully excavated.
  • Started excavating ash at Buck and H.F. Lee (recycling) along with Cliffside and Marshall, where lined landfills are already situated to start accepting ash. Continued ash excavation at Weatherspoon – now about one-third complete – for recycling at South Carolina cement kilns.
  • Completed construction of a new lined landfill at Robinson in South Carolina; began construction of an on-site lined landfill at Asheville, where excavation will be completed in 2022; started construction of additional landfill cells at Cliffside.
  • Submitted a landfill permit modification at Marshall and permits to construct new on-site landfills at other North Carolina sites, along with W.S. Lee in South Carolina. In general, these lined landfills will start accepting ash about a year after we receive construction approval from the state regulatory agencies.
  • Safely completed bulk water removal (decanting) at all our North Carolina basins, a key first step in resolving groundwater impacts, and began implementing the pilot phase of our groundwater remediation systems at several sites.
  • In Indiana, closure work is complete on six basins, with 16 remaining and several others nearing completion. Progress continues through a combination of excavation and in-place closure, with the method driven by site-specific considerations at each basin:
    • Cayuga – One basin excavated. Remaining: one by excavation, three by closure in place.
    • Gallagher – Two basins excavated. Remaining: one by excavation, three by closure in place.*
    • Gibson – Two basins excavated and one closed in place. Remaining: one by excavation, two by closure in place.*
    • Wabash River – Remaining: three by excavation, two by closure in place.*
      * Several closure plans are still under state regulator review: Gallagher (one basin), Gibson (four basins), and Wabash River (two basins).