Duke Energy to retire coal-fired units two years early

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) said it will retire two coal-fired power plants two years earlier than scheduled.

Both the 256 MW Buck and the 454 MW Riverbend stations were scheduled to retire in April 2015, but Duke said it will retire Buck units 5 and 6 and Riverbend units 4 through 7 on April 1, 2013 instead. The company said its joint dispatch process that utilizes generation across both Duke Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Carolinas fleets have enabled them to retire the units early.

Buck Steam Station entered commercial operation in 1926. Its original two units retired in 1979, and units 3 and 4 retired in May 2011. Units 5 and 6, both 128 MW, began operating in 1953. Three smaller natural gas combustion turbines at the site retired in October 2012. A 620 MW natural gas-fired power plant at the Buck site began operations in November 2011.

Riverbend Steam Station began operating in 1929, and units 1 and 2 retired in 1979. Unit 3 retired in 1976. Units 4 and 5, each 94 MW, began operating in 1952, and units 6 and 7, both 133 MW, began operating in 1954. Four smaller natural gas-fired turbines at the site retired in October 2012.

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