MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. There are new details from Duke Energy on the closure of the Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly.

The coal plant that first went online in 1929 stopped operating last April.

Duke is now preparing to start the actual demolition of the plant in the next few weeks.

This fall through 2014 we ll focus on the auxiliary buildings and some of the coal handling structures, as well as the natural gas units, said Duke Energy spokesperson, Catherine Butler.

When coal is burned the remaining coal ash goes into giant ponds.

Environmental groups have long voiced concern about the ponds that are right next to Mountain Island Lake, the prime source for the drinking water supply for the greater Charlotte area.

Duke Energy is committed to appropriately closing all those ash basins, said Erin Culbert, a Duke spokesperson.

But Duke says the decision on how best to close the basins has still not been made.

Next year, for example, Duke Energy will be working with groundwater experts to perform a series of scientific and engineering studies that will help determine the most appropriate closure method, Culbert said.

The plan is to have the plant cleared and green grass growing at the location by 2017.

Read or Share this story: