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Dan River Steam Station

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  • Retirement: 2012
  • Capacity: 276 megawatts
  • Location: Rockingham County, North Carolina
  • Commercial Date: 1949

In 1948, construction began on then cutting-edge coal unit in Rockingham County, N.C. Units 1 and 2 came online in 1949 and 1950, respectively. A third unit was added by 1955, creating a net generating capacity of 276 megawatts (MW).

However, by 2008 the technology had quickly surpassed the three units that comprised the station. Duke Energy announced plans to retire the station's three units, along with three natural gas combustion turbines that had been in operation since 1968. When the three units were retired on April 1, 2012, the company was already in the midst of replacing the outdated technology. A few hundred yards away, a new natural gas facility was near completion.

The final months of 2012 saw the retirement of the smaller gas units in October and commercial operation of Dan River Combined-Cycle Station in December. The new 620-MW station is cleaner and more efficient, serving up to 620,000 customers – nearly double the capacity of the retired steam station.

The retired coal units are part of the company's decommissioning and demolition program.

Plant Happenings

Information included in recent neighbor updates, along with work and progress at the site.

Dan River Response

On Feb. 2, 2014, a storm water pipe under an ash basin at the retired Dan River coal plant failed and released up to 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River. We quickly mobilized a team to stop the leak and care for the river. We have permanently plugged the 36-inch and 48-inch storm water pipes. Public drinking water remained safe throughout the incident. Ongoing water sampling demonstrated the Dan River has returned to pre-event surface water quality conditions.

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