Duke Energy announced the proposed location for a third coal ash reprocessing unit at its Cape Fear Plant in Moncure, N.C.

Last year, the company shared plans to build units at the Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, N.C., and the H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro, N.C.

The units are requirements of the state's coal ash law and the company has met its obligations in advance of each deadline.

Once constructed, the three facilities in total are expected to reprocess 900,000 tons of coal ash a year from basins, making it suitable for use in concrete.

Prior to deciding to put the third reprocessing unit at Cape Fear, the company planned to excavate ash from the facility for beneficial use in structural fills, another important form of ash recycling.

"We're building a smarter energy future through safe, smart recycling of coal ash, turning a waste into a valuable ingredient in concrete and other construction materials," said Brian Weisker, vice president of coal combustion products, operations and maintenance. "Reusing the ash also benefits our customers and our state, often lowering the total cost of basin closure when compared to excavation and transport to a new location, for example."

In 2016, Duke Energy recycled about 75 percent of the coal combustion byproducts (coal ash and gypsum) produced in North Carolina.

A dedicated team of experts is partnering with technology companies, universities and industry organizations to research smart new uses of the material.

Coal ash can be safely reused to make construction materials stronger and more durable. Some of the world's most impressive buildings and bridges were built using coal ash.