Duke Energy's fleet modernization allows two coal plants to retire early

Fri Feb 1, 2013 9:45am EST

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,  Feb. 1, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy's (NYSE: DUK) Buck
and Riverbend steam stations, coal-fired power plants in the  Charlotte  area,
will retire two years earlier than scheduled, drawing to a close more than eight
decades of operations at each facility.  

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040414/DUKEENERGYLOGO  )

Both stations had been slated for retirement in  April 2015  in advance of
upcoming federal environmental regulations; however, the company elected to
retire Buck Units 5 and 6 and Riverbend Units 4 through 7 on  April 1, 2013.  

The units have been operating infrequently in recent years and in the future
would have operated even less with the recent completion of new, more efficient
plants and low natural gas prices.  

The success of the merged company's joint dispatch process that utilizes
generation across both Duke Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Carolinas
fleets to more efficiently meet customer needs also contributed to these early
retirements.  

Duke Energy's joint dispatch process enables the company to more efficiently
deploy its generation fleet, which in turn produces savings for customers and
progress toward meeting the company's  $687 million  merger-related savings
commitment.

"The investments we and our customers have made in the last 10 years allow us to
retire older stations like these and continue transitioning to cleaner sources
of electricity," said  Keith Trent, executive vice president and chief operating
officer -Regulated Utilities. "These stations played pivotal roles in the 1920s
and 1930s in helping to electrify the industries and homes of the Carolinas, and
we honor all those employees who contributed their time and talents over the
years to ensure safe, reliable operations."

Buck Steam Station in  Rowan County  entered commercial operation in 1926 and
was  Duke Power's first large-scale power plant.  

Its original two units retired in 1979, and units 3 and 4 retired in  May 2011.
Units 5 and 6, 128 megawatts (MW) each, began operating in 1953. Three smaller
natural gas combustion turbines at the site retired in  October 2012.  

The natural gas Buck Combined Cycle Station, 620 MW, began commercial operation
in  November 2011. A photo of the retiring plant is available at 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/8430015489/in/photostream.

Riverbend Steam Station in  Gaston County  began operating in 1929, and units 1
and 2 retired in 1979. Unit 3 retired in 1976. Units 4 and 5, 94 MW each, began
operating in 1952, and units 6 and 7, 133 MW each, began operating in 1954. Four
smaller natural gas combustion turbines at the site retired in  October 2012. A
photo is available at 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeenergy/4587281090/in/photostream.

A total of 65 employees work at these plants. Duke Energy will make every effort
to assist them in finding opportunities within the company that match their
skills and interests, and will provide a severance for other affected employees.

These retirements are part of Duke Energy's strategy to modernize its power
plants, which includes retiring as much as 6,800 MW of older coal and large
oil-fired units. By the end of 2013, Duke Energy will have retired more than
3,800 MW of this capacity.

In addition to building new plants, the company has invested  $7.5 billion  for
upgrades at other locations to enhance air quality controls since 1999. These
investments have reduced the regulated fleet's emissions of sulfur dioxide by 74
percent and nitrogen oxides by 57 percent since 2005.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in  the United States 
with more than  $100 billion  in total assets. Its regulated utility operations
serve approximately 7.1 million electric customers located in six states in the
Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments
own and operate diverse power generation assets in  North America  and  Latin
America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in  the United
States.  

Headquartered in  Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded
on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the
company is available at:  www.duke-energy.com.

 CONTACT:  Erin Culbert  
           800-559-3853  


SOURCE  Duke Energy Corporation

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