Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) said Oct. 15 that site inspections at the old H.F. Lee coal plant site conducted in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The company said in a news release that inspections at the steam plant site in Goldsboro, North Carolina confirm there was only very minor erosion of material from an inactive coal ash basin on the site, Duke said in a news release.
The majority of that material, which includes coal ash, remained very close to the inactive basin, on the berm or a few feet away on the basin roadway
The state team that inspected the facility determined that the amount of material that was displaced “would not even fill the bed of an average pickup truck,” Duke said in a news release.
In June 2015, the company recommended excavation of ash because of potential flooding at the facility. That is now a requirement under North Carolina’s coal ash management law and that work is to be completed by Aug. 1, 2028.
Water samples taken on Oct. 12, just downstream of the inactive basins, showed no measurable ash-related constituents in the Neuse River.
The inactive basins have well-established cover – including organic material, grass, shrubs and trees – and have performed as expected in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew with minimal erosion.
“Because some water remains in the cooling pond, the H.F. Lee natural gas plant can operate, if needed, to serve customers,” Duke Energy said.
The natural gas units that comprise a combined-cycle facility at the Lee station in Wayne County, North Carolina were built in 2012. Duke demolished much of the old coal plant infrastructure in 2013 and 2014.