News Release
March 20, 2000

DUKE POWER ANNOUNCES $100 MILLION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Power today announced a $100 million program to reduce ozone-forming nitrogen oxide emissions from its coal-burning generating plants by approximately 40 percent over the next five years.

"These reductions will be in addition to the 40-percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions that we have already made since 1995," said Curtis Davis, senior vice president of power generation.

"Although vehicle exhaust is also a major contributor to ozone, we want to do our part," Davis said. "There is considerable uncertainty about ozone regulations and standards right now, but we recognize the importance of getting started immediately. This program will achieve substantial reductions of nitrogen oxide releases this season."

Ozone, a component in urban smog, is formed on hot, sunny days when nitrogen oxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, oil and coal, mixes with organic chemicals in the air. Ozone levels are of particular concern in cities like Charlotte. Therefore, Duke Power is focusing its efforts on three generating plants: the Allen and Marshall stations, located near Charlotte, and the Belews Creek station, near Winston-Salem.

As an example, Davis said that this program, coupled with controls installed in 1999, would bring nitrogen oxide emissions at Belews Creek, the company's largest coal-fired power plant, to about 60 percent of its 1998 emissions level.

"We're proud of that," Davis said. "However, it's important to remember that in urban areas, up to 90 percent of the ozone is caused by vehicle emissions. So, while additional controls at our plants will help, it will take all of us, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, citizens, business and industry, working together to tackle our ozone problem."

Duke Power also announced that it is withdrawing its petition to repeal North Carolina's new eight-hour ozone standard. Davis says that the company prefers to work out its concerns with the standard through negotiations with state officials. "Negotiations are generally more constructive than litigation," he said. "We and the state have the same goal -- better air quality for all North Carolinians."

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation's largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to nearly two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system capability is 19,252 megawatts.

Duke Energy, a diversified multi-national energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Joseph Maher
Phone: 704/382-8323
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: jmaher@duke-energy.com