The coal burn at Duke Energy Progress picked up a bit in 2014

Duke Energy Progress burned 7.3 million tons of coal in 2014, up slightly from 7.1 million tons of coal consumed in 2013, when it was coming off of unusually low natural gas prices earlier this decade that helped displace some of its coal usage.

The Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary on Feb. 11 filed fuel figures for December 2014 and all of that year with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Those figures show that the utility began 2014 with 1.8 million tons of coal in inventory, took delivery of 6.9 million tons, burned 7.3 million tons, and ended 2014 with about 1.7 million tons in inventory.

Duke Energy Progress also 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 the utility filed in February 2014 with the North Carolina commission. 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. That 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.

Most of the Duke Energy Progress coal units didn’t run particularly hard in 2014, despite the slight rebound in coal burn that year. 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 2014, excluding units that are listed in the filing but already retired:

  • Asheville Unit 1 (192 MW), 50% capacity factor;
  • Asheville Unit 2 (187 MW), 42%;
  • Mayo Unit 1 (746 MW), 40%;
  • Roxboro Unit 1 (380 MW), 65%;
  • Roxboro Unit 2 (667 MW), 57%;
  • Roxboro Unit 3 (698 MW), 49%; and
  • Roxboro Unit 4 (711 MW), 70%.
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.