At 8 a.m. Saturday, June 12, Duke Energy marked the end of an era.

With a countdown from 10, more than 500 explosives with a force of about 450 pounds imploded two power houses at the company’s Crystal River coal plant in Citrus County. Emergency management officials and others were on-hand to ensure safety.

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The 200-foot-tall by 125-foot-wide power houses consisted of boilers, steam turbine generators, drums, motors, pumps and pipes – the main equipment needed to generate 915 megawatts of energy for more than 50 years.

The team will implode the remaining two 500-foot-tall stacks later this year.

One hundred percent of the steel, copper and other metals, along with the concrete, will be recycled.

The two-unit coal plant was built in the 1960s and helped serve Duke Energy’s 1.8 million customers in Florida for more than five decades.

The company retired the plant in 2018 when its new state-of-the-art Citrus Combined Cycle Station, a natural gas plant, started serving customers.

Duke Energy is retiring coal plants and replacing them with cleaner and more efficient natural gas plants and renewables as part of the company’s clean energy transformation plan.

That plan calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or To see more of his stories, visit