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Duke Energy to retire coal operations at its W.C. Beckjord Station

CINCINNATI, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy today announced it will retire the remaining coal-fired units, 5 and 6, at its W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio, effective Sept. 1.

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Due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's increasingly stringent regulations on power plant emissions, Duke Energy Ohio three years ago announced its intent to retire Beckjord Station's coal-fired units 1 through 6 – totaling 862 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity – by Jan. 1, 2015. Details were recorded in the company's 2011  Resource Plan filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

"I want to thank the Beckjord employees as well as former employees who so diligently served the company and community during the plant's years of operation," said Chuck Whitlock, Duke Energy president of Midwest Commercial Generation and vice president of Gas Operations. "As we begin a multiyear process to decommission the plant, I'd like to take this opportunity to reassure the community that Duke Energy will still own and safely manage the site throughout this process."

Beyond those necessary for the transition to decommissioning, current Beckjord employees will be relocated to nearby Duke Energy Ohio plants.

"Beckjord Station has been an integral part of the community and the company for more than 60 years," said Jim Henning, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "After the plant is retired, we will continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers and will remain a strong community partner."

Four oil-fired combustion turbines (CT) on the site, which are capable of producing 244 MW of electricity and are primarily used for generating power during periods of high demand, are planned to continue operations. Also, certain substation and transmission or distribution electrical equipment will remain on site and in operation.

Retirement of the Beckjord units are subject to approval by regulatory authorities and the grid operator.

Beckjord unit 1 was retired in 2012; units 2 and 3 were retired in 2013; and unit 4 retired earlier this year. None of the units or operations at Beckjord, including these being retired, were part of the sales agreement recently announced with Dynegy.

About the W.C. Beckjord Station

The W.C. Beckjord Station, 18 miles upstream of Cincinnati on the Ohio River, was dedicated on June 12, 1952, with the first 100-MW unit in commercial operation. Five additional coal-fired units were added by 1969. Four oil-fired combustion turbines were added in the early 1970s.

Duke Energy Ohio owned 100 percent of the first five generating units at the station, and jointly owns unit 6 (37.5 percent ownership) with American Electric Power Co. (12.5 percent) and Dayton Power and Light Co. (50 percent). Duke Energy launched a website – www.duke-energy.com/beckjord – to provide additional information and updates. For more information, also see http://www.duke-energy.com/beckjord/faqs.asp

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $115 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy 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: Sally Thelen, Cincinnati 
Office: 513.287.2432

Contact: Tammie McGee, Charlotte 
Office: 980.373.8812 
24-Hour media line: 800.559.3853

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SOURCE Duke Energy

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