Duke initiates demolition of retired coal units at H.F. Lee

After more than a year of planning and preparation, Duke Energy will begin demolishing the retired H.F. Lee coal-fired power plant this fall.

The demolition process will last several months and will include implosion of the powerhouse and chimneys.

Duke Energy’s long-term vision for sites with retired coal units such as Lee is to safely return them to ground level using a method known as decommissioning and demolition. This multi-year process involves cleaning and removing equipment, demolishing the buildings and powerhouse, and restoring the site.

“By retiring the older, less efficient coal units, we have the opportunity to modernize our generation fleet to better serve our customers,” said Millie Chalk, Duke Energy district manager. “The retired units served our region reliably and affordably for many years, and the new advanced, cleaner energy source will help ensure electricity remains as dependable as ever, while reducing environmental impacts.”  

In the first phase, changes at the site will be less noticeable, but during the final stages of the demolition process, people may notice the removal of larger structures from the site. Neighbors can expect increased construction traffic on Old Smithfield Road in 2014. The demolition contractor may also use the rail system to move some material off site.