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Progress shutters two more coal-fired plants

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Progress Energy is scheduled to shutter two more coal-fired power plants on Monday as the company phases out its use of the cheap but dirty fuel across the region.

The latest closings are the final two units at the Cape Fear plant near Moncure in Chatham County and the H.B. Robinson Unit 1 plant near Hartsville, S.C.

In all, Progress is now in the process of demolishing a dozen coal-burning units at five sites. Two weeks ago it closed the aging H.F. Lee power plant near Goldsboro.

Progress Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Charlotte-based Duke Energy, announced its coal-abandonment strategy in 2009 in response to expected federal caps on greenhouse gases and stricter limits on pollution.

The 316-megawatt Cape Fear plant has six coal-fired units on site, the last two of which were built in 1956 and 1958. Two of the six units were retired in 1977 and another two last year.

The H.B. Robinson plant is Progress' only coal-fired plant in South Carolina.

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About the blogger

Business reporter David Bracken came to the N&O in 2004. He covers commercial and residential real estate. Contact David at 919-829-4548 or e-mail him.