Duke Energy Progress (NYSE: DUK) imploded the boilers Friday morning at the retired H.F. Lee Steam Plant located in Wayne County, N.C. This was the second implosion at the site; the first occurred in December 2013.
As part of the company's plans to retire and demolish several of its older coal-fired power plants, Duke will begin restoring the site. Restoration, which is expected to be complete by mid-2015, includes filling, grading and seeding the land. Duke will continue to own the land.
The H.F. Lee coal-fired power plant began operating in 1951 and has been replaced by a new 920-MW natural gas plant that entered commercial operations in 2012.
"This demolition event is bittersweet, from a historical perspective," said Millie Chalk, Duke Energy's District Manager. "It marks the end of a plant that has reliably served the region for more than 60 years, while also symbolizing a 'passing of the torch' to the new natural gas plant. From the environmental perspective, the transition is very positive."
Duke has invested $9 billion in five new combined-cycle and clean coal plants, including the one located at the H.F. Lee Energy Complex. As a result, the company was able to retire seven of its 14 coal plants in the state by the end of 2013.