With a series of explosions Thursday morning, Duke Energy demolished the oldest section of the Buck Steam Station, on the Yadkin River near Salisbury.
Buck was the first large capacity coal-fired power plant in the Carolinas when its first two units opened in 1926. It was retired in 2013. Units one and two were demolished Thursday. The four remaining units will be imploded this fall.
Duke now operates a natural-gas plant on the site, as it shifts energy production away from coal.
Duke is also planning to remove coal ash stored near the plant beginning in late 2019 or early 2020. And it's building an ash reprocessing unit to recycle some ash for use in concrete. That reprocessing facility is one of three Duke has agreed to build around the state.