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Coal hard facts: A Charlotte company teams up to clean up Duke Energy’s plants (access required)

By Sam Boykin At its genesis in 1987, the Shaw Group was a fabricator of pipe, a basic-industry company whose connection to the electric-power industry was simple: Flip a switch, and the machinery starts. Today, the Shaw Power Group, based in Charlotte, a division of the Shaw Group, is part of a consortium putting the finishing touches on a six-year, $1.8 billion project of making Duke Energy’s power plants compliant with a strict state environmental law. The Shaw Group first expanded into the energy industry in 2000, when it acquired a Boston engineering firm and launched Shaw Power Group. The company recognized the growing opportunities in the energy field, including in Charlotte, headquarters city of Duke Energy. The power company was facing stiff new regulations: The North Carolina General Assembly in 2002 passed the Clean Smokestacks Act (CSA). The law required coal-fired power plants to cut by 73 percent their sulfur dioxide emissions—a main source of acid rain—by 2013.

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