Duke Energy Progress burned off some coal inventory in 2013

Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Progress Energy Carolinas) had some luck in 2013 burning down its coal inventory, with that inventory falling from 2.3 million tons at the beginning of 2013, to 1.8 million tons at the end.

That is according to figures that this Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary filed Feb. 14 with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The data is mostly for the month of December 2013, but includes full-year 2013 figures. The report shows that Duke Energy Progress received 6.6 million tons of coal in 2013, and burned 7.1 million tons, with the gap between those figures accounting for the fall in coal inventories during the year.

Duke Energy Progress was also able to burn down its coal inventory in 2012, beginning that year at 2.6 million tons of coal in stock, and ending the year at 2.3 million tons. That is according to a fuel report that it filed in February 2013 at the North Carolina commission. The report shows that the utility took delivery of 9.4 million tons of coal in 2012 and burned 9.7 million tons, which led to the fall of coal in inventory.

A February 2012 report it filed with the commission that covers 2011 shows that it took delivery of 10.7 million tons of coal, burned only 9.8 million tons, leading to a coal inventory that began 2011 at 1.6 million, and mushroomed to 2.6 million tons by the end of 2011. The 2012 problem with coal burn was at least in part due to very cheap natural gas prices that year.

One interesting set of figures is the trend line of falling coal burn, going from 9.8 million tons in 2011, to 9.7 million tons in 2012 and all the way down to 7.1 million tons in 2013. There are figures in the Feb. 14 filing about cost savings from joint dispatch of the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress units, but it isn’t clear if some of that savings was due to any shifting of coal burn to the Duke Energy Carolinas plants. These two utilities were joined in mid 2012 under Duke Energy due to a merger with Progress Energy.

The Duke Energy Progress coal units didn’t run particularly hard in 2013. Notable is that any well maintained coal unit with strong power demand should be able to run at a capacity factor of at least 80%. These are the MW ratings and capacity factors for coal units that had any capacity factor showing for 2013, excluding units that are listed in the filing but already retired:

  • Asheville Unit 1 (196 MW), 34% capacity factor;
  • Asheville Unit 2 (187 MW), 44%;
  • Mayo Unit 1 (746 MW), 41%;
  • Roxboro Unit 1 (379 MW), 45%;
  • Roxboro Unit 2 (662 MW), 66%;
  • Roxboro Unit 3 (705 MW), 39%; and
  • Roxboro Unit 4 (711 MW), 44%.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.