ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The very loud noise heard by residents of northern Rowan County on Friday morning was the sound of Duke Energy bringing down part of the Buck Steam Station.
“Earlier this morning, Duke Energy successfully imploded the Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, N.C., closing the historical chapter on Duke Energy’s first large capacity coal generating plant built in the Carolinas,” Duke Energy said in a statement.
“A significant part of Duke Energy’s history was honored today as the company decommissioned the Buck Steam Station coal plant that retired in 2013. The plant began operating in 1926 and was Duke Energy’s first “modern” pulverized coal plant helping to electrify the Carolinas. The Buck site continues to serve customers through a 620-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant on the property that began operating in 2011. This project is part of the company’s effort to transition to cleaner, more efficient energy sources for customers.”
The first implosion at the plant happened in August.
“Work to decommission the retired coal plant is progressing,” according to Duke Energy. “We expect to implode the powerhouse later this year. Once the site is graded, a grassy field will take its place.”
Duke says it is also moving forward with plans to remove the coal ash from the site.
"We are moving forward with plans to excavate the coal ash from the basins at the site and safely recycle the ash material," Duke says. "We have started building the ash reprocessing unit that will remove the extra carbon in the ash, making it suitable for the concrete industry. We are on track to begin ash excavation in late 2019 or early 2020."
The company is also working on a new road to redirect traffic off of Dukeville Road. The current projection is that this roadway will be completed by the end of 2018.
“The county is in the final stages of construction of Salisbury-Rowan Utilities water lines to provide a permanent water supply to eligible property owners within a half-mile radius of the Buck site,” according to the company.