Duke to get outside party to write coal ash study for its North Carolina sites

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) on Dec. 12 for a comprehensive study of ways to beneficially reuse coal ash and an analysis of available and emerging technologies.

Academic institutions, research organizations, industry specialists and those with coal ash expertise are encouraged to register to receive the RFP, Duke said in a Dec. 2 statement. Duke has been under heavy pressure lately in North Carolina to deal with coal ash after a spill into the Dan River of ash earlier this year at its shut Dan River power plant.

Results from the study will advance the company’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its ash management strategies, as well as the work to permanently and safely close ash basins across North Carolina. Obtaining additional resources is also part of the company’s commitment to meeting the state of North Carolina’s new coal ash policies.

“We are eager to expand the amount of ash directed to the beneficial reuse market,” said John Elnitsky, senior vice president for ash management strategy. “A full assessment of the available technologies and innovations will help us integrate solutions that are safe, practical and proven for large-scale applications.”

The company will seek proposals for a study focusing on three key areas related to coal combustion residuals (CCRs) and coal combustion products (CCPs):

  • A market analysis of beneficial reuse opportunities in the concrete industry or other sectors.
  • The assessment of new processing technologies to enhance the material’s suitability for beneficial reuse.
  • An examination of all innovative technologies that might be applied to recycle, reuse or mitigate the impact of existing or newly generated coal ash.

Interested bidders should submit their information, including organization name, contact name, phone number and email address to CoalAshReuse@duke-energy.com by 12 p.m. ET on Dec. 9. Registered bidders will receive information and instructions for accessing the RFP once issued, including how to complete and submit a proposal. Proposals will be accepted through 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 6, 2015.

The RFP is another milestone as the company works to advance its coal ash management strategy. In addition to the recently announced excavation plans for four sites, the company said it has met aggressive state deadlines to file groundwater assessment plans, well water receptor surveys and updated permit applications for all 14 of its North Carolina facilities in order to begin the review and approval process.

Duke Energy has also established a national advisory panel of independent experts in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to provide counsel on permanent coal ash storage solutions for all of its facilities. The company also created a dedicated, in-house organization to rigorously manage all of its coal ash operations.

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.