Duke Energy power plant imploded

Duke Energy Progress' demolition specialist recently imploded the retiredW.H.WeatherspoonPlantas part of the company's longstanding effort to t...

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|Dec 4|magazine3 min read

Duke Energy Progress' demolition specialist recently imploded the retired W.H. Weatherspoon Plant as part of the company's longstanding effort to transition to cleaner energy sources.

After more than four months of demolition activity at the site, this milestone dramatically transforms the landscape where the coal plant had operated safely and reliably for more than 60 years.

Duke Energy's ultimate goal for retired sites such as Weatherspoon is to dismantle the equipment and buildings, and restore the site to ground level. The implosion event at Weatherspoon allows the company to complete the demolition work and begin restoring the land.

Restoration involves filling, grading and seeding the land to prevent erosion and protect water quality. The company plans to complete this phase by mid-2014 and will continue to own and steward the land.

Duke Energy has invested $9 billion in the last decade in building some of the cleanest natural gas and coal plants possible, with high efficiency and state-of-the-art emissions controls.

This allows the company to retire nearly 6,800 megawatts (MW) of older coal and large oil-fired units. Nearly 6,300 MW of the capacity Duke Energy will retire is coal, which represents 25 percent of its coal fleet. By the end of 2013, Duke Energy will have retired more than 3,800 MW of this older coal capacity.

These retired plants will enter the decommissioning program and will move through a demolition process similar to Weatherspoon's.