6 May 2013

Duke Energy Cancels Shearon Harris Project in North Carolina

On the 3 May 2013 US utility Duke Energy announced that it had withdrawn the 1998 license request for the construction and operation of two 1000 MW reactors at the Shearon Harris plant in North Carolina. The company informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the plant was no longer needed due to sluggish demand growth forecasts. However, others contest the explanation and suggest that Duke have consistently exaggerated demand growth projections and that the changes in the energy market mean that utilities can no longer keep locking out competitors, especially rooftop solar. The license application was originally submitted by Progress Energy, which was taken over by Duke Energy in 2012. In February 2013 Duke also announced that it would close the Crystal River plant in Florida, which had not operated for two and half years following a “botched maintenance and upgrade project”. The company said it would replace the lost power generating capacity with a natural gas station (also see Crystal River Reactor Shut Down for Good).