News Release
Nov. 17, 1999


HOUSTON — Brownsville, Texas City Commissioners yesterday approved a transaction whereby the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Duke Energy Hidalgo, L.P. (DEH), an affiliate of Duke Energy North America, LLC (DENA), will jointly own a wholesale electric generating facility currently under construction in Hidalgo County, Texas.

Under the terms of the transaction, the Brownsville PUB will acquire an undivided ownership interest in DEH’s Hidalgo electric generating plant, entitling it to approximately 21.5 percent of the plant’s electric output. This purchase allows the Brownsville PUB to secure capacity in an existing electric generation facility, due to start operating in June 2000, instead of incurring the expense of building another facility or purchasing electric power from a third party.

"Purchase of this power will be good for Brownsville," said Brownsville Mayor Blanca S. Vela. "It allows Brownsville the opportunity to advance well into the millennium. The purchase of this facility provides the foundation to insure that Brownsville’s economy continues growing."

DEH’s Hidalgo facility is an approximately 500 megawatt natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, merchant electric generating plant. The facility is being constructed in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, just north of the city of Edinburg. It is anticipated that the construction period will run through May 2000.

"We are pleased that our state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired power generating plant allows us to forge a relationship with the city of Brownsville," said Jim Donnell, president and chief executive officer of DENA. "The Hidalgo facility is an example of how private industry and government can work together to improve the quality of life of local communities. It provides needed power, in an environmentally friendly manner, to support local economic growth."

"The divestiture of a partial interest in our project also typifies DENA~s strategy of active generation portfolio management by capturing value created through our development efforts while still participating in the project. This transaction is evidence of DENA’s commitment to work with local and regional energy providers to address generation needs," added Donnell.

"We were aware of the very important role that this power plant will play in the Rio Grande Valley’s generation needs, as well as its benefit to the local economy," said Edinburg Mayor Joe Ochoa. "This transaction with a local utility validates our efforts to successfully host this facility and contribute to the region’s future growth."

The Brownsville PUB is a full-service, municipally owned and operated utility. Since 1904 it has provided electric, water and wastewater service to the city of Brownsville and adjacent geographical areas. The Brownsville PUB has over 400 employees that provide reliable utility service to 34,500 customers in the Brownsville area.

DENA, a unit of Duke Energy (NYSE-DUK), is a premier developer, owner and manager of a portfolio of merchant wholesale electric generation projects and facilities in the United States.

Duke Energy is a global energy company with more than $29 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at:

Contact: Richard A. Fernandez
Phone: (713) 627-5984
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333