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Lake Julian temperature drop? Live meetings return date?

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: It’s now been one year since Duke energy switched over to using natural gas as their sole source of fuel at the power plant on Lake Julian. What is the temperature change in the water from when they were burning coal to now using natural gas?

A view across Lake Julian at the Duke Energy site where the coal burning smokestack used to be. It was demolished in January 2020 as Duke transitioned to a natural gas-burning facility.

My answer: I wonder if this is related to that fish vendor in Lake Julian Park peddling a seemingly endless supply of tilapia?

Real answer: First, a little background, provided by Duke Energy spokeswoman Heather Danenhower.

“Lake Julian was built in the early 1960s by Carolina Power & Light, a Duke Energy legacy company, for the sole purpose of providing cooling water to support the operation of the coal-fired plant,” Danenhower said via email. “Today – as we first reported in January 2020 – discontinuing warm water releases into Lake Julian has made the lake a more natural, cold water habitat similar to other mountain lakes in the region, where North Carolina native fish, such as bass, catfish, brim and crappie, thrive.”

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