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Duke renames power plant in honor of Jim Rogers

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Jim Rogers, outgoing chairman of Duke Energy

Duke Energy has renamed its coal-burning Cliffside power plant west of Charlotte in honor of outgoing chairman Jim Rogers.

Rogers was Duke’s chairman, president and CEO after its merger with Cinergy in 2006. Lynn Good replaced him as CEO in July and Rogers will retire as Duke’s chairman at the end of December.

“Jim has served with distinction the last 25 years as a CEO at Duke Energy or one of its predecessor companies,” Good said in a statement. “(Cliffside’s) Unit 6 is one of the cleanest and most efficient coal units in the world, and he played a key role in making the plant a reality.”

Rogers’ name goes on the most recent, and possibly the last, coal-fired power plant Duke has built in North Carolina. A target of environmentalists who oppose coal mining practices and power plant emissions, the new, $2.2 billion Unit 6 opened last December.

What will now be called the James E. Rogers Energy Complex was part of Duke’s move to shut down older, smaller, dirtier coal-burning units and upgrade or build new plants, many of them fueled by natural gas.

Rogers’ new unit and an updated unit generate more than twice the electricity the plant did before four 1940s-vintage units were shut down. It releases 80 percent less sulfur dioxide and half as much nitrogen oxide and mercury into the air.

The Rogers plant is in Rutherford and Cleveland counties, about 60 miles west of Charlotte.

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
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