Watch Duke Implode An Old Coal Plant In Wilmington
With a series of small blasts, workers imploded Boiler No. 1 at Duke Energy’s Sutton plant in Wilmington on Sunday. In a video on Duke Energy’s website, the steel hulk creaks, then crashes to the ground, throwing up a cloud of dust and debris.
It’s the latest in a series of implosions at old coal plants as Duke modernizes in response to changing economics and environmental concerns, spokesman Jeff Brooks said.
"We’ve been retiring our older, less efficient coal plants that don’t have the advanced emission controls of some our bigger plants and we’re replacing those in most cases natural gas units," Brooks said.
Carolina Power & Light opened the Sutton plant in 1954, naming it for a longtime CEO. CP&L later merged with Progress Energy. Duke acquired the plant when it bought CP&L in 2012, and shut it down in 2013.
Brooks was at Sunday’s implosion in Wilmington. “Implosions are always really exciting experiences for anybody who’s ever played with Tinker Toys or anything like that,” he said.
“The thunder of the explosive right there at the site is pretty impressive and it’s over in a matter of seconds. But it really does give you some appreciation of the work that went into constructing the plant and the number of decades it was in service,” he added.
Duke how has retired 10 of its 16 coal plants in the Carolinas, and demolished nine. Four others have been imploded. More implosions are planned at Sutton and at the Dan River plant in Eden later this year.
Meanwhile, Duke also is dealing with coal ash that accumulated for decades in coal ash ponds at all its current and former coal plants. State environmental officials are in the midst of rating environmental risks at all Duke's coal ash sites. Final rankings are due in late May.
April 10, 2016, Duke-Energy.com, “With a single blast, Duke Energy transforms the energy landscape in Wilmington”
Duke Energy web page on its “Coal Plant Decommissioning Program.”