Progress Energy Carolinas to retire two coal-fired power plants Oct. 1

    Progress Energy Carolinas to retire two coal-fired power plants Oct. 1

PR Newswire

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --As announced in July, Progress
Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), on Oct. 1 will
officially retire two coal-fired power plants, including the utility's first
coal-fueled facility built in 1923.

The utility will close the Cape Fear power plant, near Moncure, N.C., and the
H.B. Robinson Unit 1 power plant, near Hartsville, S.C., as part of its
ongoing fleet-modernization program.

Closing older, less-efficient coal plants and replacing them with
state-of-the-art natural gas-fueled power plants helps ensure continued grid
reliability, reduces air emissions and water usage, and offers new economic
development opportunities.

"For decades, these two power plants have helped us provide the region with
safe, reliable and affordable electricity," said Jeff Lyash, Duke Energy's
executive vice president of energy supply. "This legacy reflects the
exceptional dedication of hundreds of current and former employees."

The 316-megawatt (MW) Cape Fear plant, located in Chatham County on the Cape
Fear River, has been a vital part of meeting the needs of Progress Energy
Carolinas' customers since 1923.

A total of six coal-fired units were located at the site, the last two
completed in 1956 and 1958. At that time, the Cape Fear plant was the largest
power plant on the utility's system.

Two of Cape Fear's six coal-fired units were retired in 1977 and two in 2011.
The last two units will close Oct. 1. Along with the coal units, one of four
oil-fueled combustion-turbine (CT) units on the site is also being retired
Oct. 1. The remaining three CT units will remain open, though their operation
will generally be limited to periods of high electricity demand.

Meanwhile, the 177-MW H.B. Robinson Unit 1 power plant near Hartsville, S.C.,
in Darlington County, is Progress Energy Carolinas' only coal-fired power
plant in South Carolina. It has been a key part of meeting the needs of the
utility's customers since it began commercial operation in 1960.

The Robinson coal unit retirement does not affect the 724-MW Robinson nuclear
plant on the same site, which is licensed for operation through July 2030. Nor
does it affect Progress Energy Carolinas' other major power plant in South
Carolina—the 790-MW Darlington County Plant, which is located in the same
county as the Robinson plant and includes 13 combustion-turbine units fueled
by natural gas and oil.

Progress Energy Carolinas has been working to minimize employee impacts
resulting from its power plant retirements. All employees at Cape Fear and
Robinson Unit 1 electing to stay with the company have been able to do so
through the company's redeployment efforts.

Of the normal combined complement of 113 employees at these two power plants,
79 have been placed in other positions in the company, 27 are retiring through
the company's voluntary severance program associated with Progress Energy's
merger with Duke Energy, and seven left the company prior to the merger.

In addition to Cape Fear and Robinson Unit 1, Progress Energy Carolinas
retired its coal-fired W.H. Weatherspoon power plant near Lumberton, N.C., in
2011, and the H.F. Lee power plant near Goldsboro, N.C., in September.
Progress Energy Carolinas will close another coal-fired power plant, the L.V.
Sutton Plant near Wilmington, N.C., in late 2013.

Once the retirements are complete, Progress Energy Carolinas will have retired
all of its coal-fired power plants that do not have advanced environmental
controls. This represents more than 1,600 MW, or approximately one-third of
its coal-generating fleet.

In addition to retiring older, small coal plants, the utility's
fleet-modernization strategy also includes building new natural gas-fueled
combined-cycle units.

A new, 920-MW natural gas-fueled combined-cycle power plant is under
construction at the H.F. Lee power plant site near Goldsboro, N.C. That
project, including a gas pipeline extension, is expected to begin commercial
operation in January 2013.

The company is also building a 625-MW gas-fired power plant at its Sutton
site. Commercial operation, including a gas pipeline extension, is expected by
the end of 2013.

The utility also added 614 MW of natural gas-fueled generation at its Sherwood
H. Smith Jr. Energy Complex near Hamlet, N.C., in 2011.

"We're closing one chapter, but opening another as we continue to invest in
our power system to meet the needs of our customers," Lyash said. "I'm proud
of the teams working on these projects and I look forward to our continued
commitment to the communities we serve."

Progress Energy Carolinas' plan to replace a third of its coal-fueled
generating capacity with natural gas-fueled combined-cycle facilities will
yield significant environmental benefits.

Natural gas plants generally emit up to 50 percent less carbon dioxide than do
coal-fired power plants, up to 95 percent less nitrogen oxide and virtually no
sulfur dioxide or mercury.

In addition, the new power plants will use less water than the current
coal-fired units, and eliminate the production of coal ash and its byproducts.

About Progress Energy Carolinas

Progress Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electricity
and related services to nearly 1.5 million customers in North Carolina and
South Carolina. The company is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., and maintains a
diverse generation fleet of more than 12,200 megawatts in owned capacity. PEC
serves a territory encompassing more than 34,000 square miles, including the
cities of Raleigh, Wilmington and Asheville in North Carolina and Florence and
Sumter in South Carolina. More information is available at 

Media Contact: Lauren Bradford

Contact our 24-hour media line: 800-559-DUKE (3853)

Follow Progress Energy Carolinas on Twitter:

Follow Progress Energy Carolinas on Facebook:

SOURCE Duke Energy

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.