Following is a statement from Progress Energy Chairman, President and CEO Bill Johnson regarding today’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency about new emission requirements (MACT, or maximum achievable control technology) for U.S. coal- and oil-fueled power plants:
“Progress Energy is currently reviewing the U.S. EPA’s final Utility MACT rule to determine the implications of these new regulations on our company and customers. We appreciate the efforts made by the Administration to consider input from the utility industry throughout the rulemaking process. By the EPA’s own estimate, this rule is the most expensive in its history and it has the potential to have significant impacts on consumers. We will work collaboratively with our state regulators to develop implementation strategies that will ensure compliance in the most cost-effective way for our customers and that protect the reliability of our system.
“Progress Energy supports the goal of reducing harmful levels of pollutants and has invested more than $2 billion in the Carolinas and Florida in state-of-the-art technology to reduce emissions from our existing facilities. These investments, as well as our current plans to retire older coal power plants in the Carolinas and replace them with more efficient natural gas plants, will help position us to begin complying with the MACT rule. However, because the rule applies to individual power plants, rather than companywide, we will still need to evaluate the effects of these new regulations on our system to determine the extent to which additional investments are necessary on a case-by-case basis. We look forward to working with the EPA to ensure that compliance with the rule is both effective and achievable.”
In addition to investing more than $2 billion in scrubbers and other state-of-the-art emission controls in the Carolinas and Florida, Progress Energy is retiring 11 older coal-fueled units at four sites in North Carolina and replacing them with plants fueled by natural gas. The first retirement, the W.H. Weatherspoon Plant near Lumberton, N.C., was achieved in October 2011. In 2009, the company also repowered its Bartow Plant near St. Petersburg, Fla., from oil to natural gas.
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.