Duke implodes a boiler at retired Sutton coal plant; others to follow

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) said April 11 that it reached another important milestone the day before after imploding one of three boiler units at the retired, coal-fired L.V. Sutton Plant.

The company continues to remove older coal units as part of a plan to shift to cleaner energy sources in North Carolina.  The company retired the L.V. Sutton coal units in 2013 after a new natural gas-fired plant came into service at the site.

Since 2013, a team has prepared the site for full demolition. Part of this work includes removing the two iconic red-and-white striped smokestacks. Using a ring-like structure attached to the smokestacks, crews have torn down the structures piece by piece. The company expects this phase to be completed in the coming weeks.

The April 10 implosion is the first of three similar events to take place at Sutton. The next is scheduled in May and the final demolition event will take place in the fall of 2016.

Duke Energy also said it continues to make headway moving ash from Sutton to a fully-lined structural fill at the Brickhaven mine site in central North Carolina. In January, after constructing a nearly two-mile long rail line into the mine site, the company shifted to moving the majority of ash from the plant by rail to expedite this process and minimize the impact to the local community. Crews have excavated around 200,000 tons of coal ash from the Sutton site.

Permitting is also underway to construct a fully-lined landfill on Sutton plant property, which will store the majority of the ash from the basins.

Duke Energy’s Progress Duke Energy Progress unit owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides about 12,900 MW of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.5 million customers in a 32,000-square-mile service area ofNorth Carolina and South Carolina.

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.