“We thank the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office for coordinating with multiple local, state and federal response and law enforcement agencies to quickly and peaceably remove all the trespassers from the Asheville Plant site,” said Garry Whisnant, Asheville plant manager. “The plant was able to continue operations and provide reliable electricity to our customers. I’m especially pleased that this event concluded without any injuries. The Asheville Plant remains an important part of providing reliable and affordable electricity to our customers.”
This morning, a group of Greenpeace protesters trespassed on the Asheville Plant property and attached themselves to various pieces of equipment, including climbing a 400-foot tall smokestack. All 16 trespassers have been removed from the equipment and arrested. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The Asheville Plant is the largest electric generating facility in Western North Carolina. Located near Skyland, N.C., the plant consists of two coal-fired units and two combustion turbine units. It began commercial operation in 1964 and has a capacity of 376 megawatts (MW) from coal and 335 MW from natural gas.