Duke Energy reveals coal ash recycling plans

Duke Energy reveals coal ash recycling plans

Utility announces third recycling site, despite movement by North Carolina legislature to loosen requirements.

July 3, 2017
CDR Staff
Concrete and Aggregates Green Building Gypsum Drywall Legislation & Regulations
Duke Energy has announced the proposed location for a third coal ash reprocessing unit at its Cape Fear Plant in Moncure, North Carolina.

In 2016, the company shared plans to build units at the Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, North Carolina, and the H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

The units are requirements of the state's coal ash law and the company has met its obligations in advance of each deadline.

Once constructed, the three facilities in total are expected to reprocess 900,000 tons of coal ash a year from basins, making it suitable for use in concrete.

Prior to deciding to put the third reprocessing unit at Cape Fear, the company planned to excavate ash from the facility for beneficial use in structural fills, another important form of ash recycling.

"We're building a smarter energy future through safe, smart recycling of coal ash, turning a waste into a valuable ingredient in concrete and other construction materials," says Brian Weisker, vice president of coal combustion products, operations and maintenance. "Reusing the ash also benefits our customers and our state, often lowering the total cost of basin closure when compared to excavation and transport to a new location, for example."

In 2016, Duke Energy says it recycled about 75 percent of the coal combustion byproducts (coal ash and gypsum) produced in North Carolina.

A dedicated team of experts is partnering with technology companies, universities and industry organizations to research smart new uses of the material.

Coal ash can be safely reused to make construction materials stronger and more durable. Some of the world's most impressive buildings and bridges were built using coal ash.

In related news the North Carolina legislature is considering HB 374, which could reportedly undo some parts of the requirement that Duke recycle coal ash, the utility continues to move forward with its third recycling site.

In the below video, Dylan Stewart, a Duke Energy employee, explains how his team is working to recycle waste into products that benefit communities and the economy.