On Dec. 21, 2011, the U.S. EPA issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to address toxic air emissions from coal-fired power plants. This requirement was part of the Clean Air Act of 1990, but it took more than 20 years for the EPA to act. Even with the new regulation, facilities will have at least 3 years to meet the requirements. The 4th year can be for pollution control installation with allowances for an extension.
Duke Energy completed its merger with Progress Energy on July 2, 2012.
Progress Energy announced on Dec. 1, 2009 that the company will shutdown its coal-fired units in North Carolina that do not have scrubbers. These would be 11 units at 4 facilities. These 4 coal-fired power plants will shutdown by 2017: LV Sutton, HF Lee, Cape Fear, and WH Weatherspoon. Progress Energy officially closed its Weatherspoon facility on October 1, 2011.
After the July 2012 Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger, on July 27, 2012 Duke Energy announced that retirement dates for these facilities were moved up: Cape Fear coal-fired plant was retired on Oct. 1, 2012. H.F. Lee Plant coal-fired plant was closed on September 15, 2012. L.V. Sutton Plant coal-fired units were retired in November 2013.
Duke Energy began construction on Cliffside Unit 6 on Jan. 30, 2008. Unit 6 commenced operation on Dec. 30, 2012. Cliffside Units 1-4 were retired in the fall of 2011.
Duke Energy shut down Buck units 3 and 4 in mid-2011. In a Feb. 1, 2013 Press Release Duke Energy announced that Units 5 and 6 would be retired 2 years earlier than anticipated. Units 5 and 6 were retired in April 2013.
Duke Energy shut down Dan River coal-fired units in 2012. Converting facility to natural gas at this location.
In a Feb. 1, 2013 Press Release Duke Energy announced that Riverbend coal-fired units 4 - 7 would be retired 2 years earlier than anticipated. The Riverbend facility closed in April 2013.
On Dec. 3, 2013 Duke Energy renamed its Cliffside Steam Station the James E. Rogers Energy Complex.
In September 2019, Duke Energy Carolinas said it plans on closing two units (4 and 5) at Allen by 2024 - four years earlier than planned. Duke had already announced in 2018, that units 1-3 were slated to retire by December 2024.
Duke Energy announced in December 2019 that Belews Creek can now operate on either coal or natural gas power.
In January 2019 Duke Energy announced retrofits on Rogers Energy Complex (Cliffside) units 5 and 6. Unit 5 can burn up to 40% natural gas while Unit 6 can burn either coal or natural gas. Duke has said it has moved up the retirement of Unit 5 from 2032 to 2026.
Marshall units 1 and 2 are planned for retirement in 2034. Duke Energy Carolinas said in 2018 that it plans to retrofit all four units at Marshall to operate on either coal or natural gas. Units 1 and 2 would be designed to use up to 30% natural gas. Units 3 and 4 would be able to use up to a 50% mix. Duke anticipates the project will be completed in 2021.
As of October 2019, Duke Energy has said that it will shut down two of its four Roxboro units in 2028 and the other two in 2033.
Duke Energy shut down both coal-fired units of its Asheville plant on January 29, 2020.