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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Retirement of NC Coal Plant Signals Positive Change Say Advocates

Photo: Duke Energy announced plans to retire Asheville's Lake Julian coal-fired power plant and build a natural gas and solar generation facility. Photo credit: Asheville Beyond Coal
Photo: Duke Energy announced plans to retire Asheville's Lake Julian coal-fired power plant and build a natural gas and solar generation facility. Photo credit: Asheville Beyond Coal
May 20, 2015

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - In four-to-five years North Carolina will have one less coal-fired power plant. Duke Energy on Tuesday announced plans to retire Asheville's 376-megawatt coal plant.

It's something the Beyond Coal campaign has sought for the last five years and senior representative Kelly Martin says the announcement shows movement in the right direction.

"By retiring the coal plant, we know that means there's an end in sight to the water pollution from coal ash, to the air pollution and to the carbon pollution from relying on burning coal for electricity," she says.

This is the 190th coal-fired power plant that will be taken off line after the Beyond Coal Campaign began in 2010.

The retirement of Asheville's plant will leave the state with six remaining coal-fired power plants. Martin says the Beyond Coal campaign is now setting its sights on getting Duke to retire the Allen Steam Station outside of Charlotte.

Duke's plan would involve a more than $1 billion investment to retire the plant at Lake Julian and replace it with a 650-megawatt natural gas plant, along with a solar installation.

Duke Energy spokesman Dave Scanzoni says with projected population growth in North Carolina, the energy supplier was looking for a way to meet practical needs and local demand for cleaner energy.

"We thought this was a great opportunity to move forward with a much larger power plant that's much cleaner, twice the size in terms of electricity output," says Scanzoni. "But significantly cleaner and better for the environment than the coal that it replaces."

Martin says while her organization applauds Duke Energy for the retirement of the coal plant, she wants it to move towards a plant that would involve completely renewable energy.

"Building a new natural gas plant is not the vision we have for a clean energy future in western North Carolina," she says. "We will continue the fight to press for true clean energy solutions and not a continued reliance on fossil fuels."

Duke Energy says it hopes to complete key components of the plan to retire the Asheville plant by 2019.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC