Coal, Instrumentation & Controls, O&M

Video: Duke Energy implodes coal units at retired Cape Fear power plant

Duke Energy’s (NYSE: DUK) contractor imploded Cape Fear’s two coal-fired units — which began operating in 1956 and 1958 — on June 4. The Moncure, N.C. plant began operating in 1923.

“It’s been an honor to spend most of my 40-year career at the Cape Fear Plant and watch as the region has grown up around us. We’ve been an important part of that growth,” said Danny Wimberly, Duke Energy’s manager of demolition and retirement at the site. “While it’s a bittersweet day for many employees who enjoyed their years working at the site, it also demonstrates our continued progress in modernizing the way we produce energy. We’re building on a legacy that began with power plants like Cape Fear, and continues today with new power plants that generate electricity more efficiently and cleanly than ever before.”

Two of the site’s six coal-fired units were retired in 1977 and two in 2011. The remaining two coal-fired units, along with one of four oil-fired combustion turbine units on site, were retired in October 2012. The smokestacks and emission-control equipment were imploded in 2014. The remaining infrastructure will be mechanically removed in the coming months.

The company will now focus on restoring the land, while continuing studies to inform ash basin closure plans for the site’s five ash basins.

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