News Release
Sept. 21, 2000


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Four recipients of 1999 Pinnacle Awards, Duke Energy’s annual recognition for outstanding contribution to the company’s business success, were presented today to a gathering of company leaders at the Charlotte Convention Center by Richard B. Priory, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Two of the Pinnacle recipients Joseph (Joe) J. Barna and Miriam (Murray) K. Nixon are Charlotte-based while William (Bill) F. Hall III operates from Morro Bay, Calif., and Thomas (Tom) O’Connor from Houston. Their award-winning contributions are profiled below:

Joe Barna

Barna, an engineering supervisor for Duke Power, was instrumental in the design, installation and operation of low NOx (nitrogen oxide) burners on Duke Power’s coal-fired electricity generating units. Working within Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and other state regulations, he developed a method to arrange air and coal ports at optimal locations to reduce NOx emissions. Further, he developed a computer program to help guide plant operators to achieve the desired result. His leadership in identifying innovative steps to achieve emissions reductions at lower costs without significantly affecting the operation of coal plants resulted in savings of $16 million in capital costs and $800,000 in operating costs. A patent is pending on Barna’s development.

Murray Nixon

Nixon, an information technology project manager for Duke Energy North America (DENA), led the design and implementation of the first real-time performance and cost-monitoring system in North America. The computer system gathers all pricing, cost and power supply data from DENA’s wholesale power plants and makes it immediately available online to other DENA personnel through an internet browser. It has improved DENA’s ability to accurately assess quantities of electricity available for the open market, which improves the company’s ability to help maintain the stability of the regional power grid and deliver on commitments.

Bill Hall

Hall, vice president of asset management for DENA, was instrumental in coordinating the transfer of four power plants in California to DENA from previous owners or operators. Without precedent, Hall and his team determined the business processes, operating practices and marketing and regulatory strategies required to optimize the value of wholesale power generation plants in a deregulated market. His efforts to openly communicate DENA’s intentions have been instrumental in the company’s ongoing efforts to modernize and repower the largest of the company’s facilities in California – Moss Landing – at a time when there is a critical shortage of power generation capacity in the Golden State.

Tom O’Connor

O’Connor, senior vice president of marketing and capacity management for Duke Energy Gas Transmission, developed and coordinated the construction of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, a 650-mile natural gas transmission system that links supply from offshore Nova Scotia with growing markets in the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritimes region. The pipeline, completed in late 1999, helped bring a major new supply basin to market in North America for the first time in 20 years. Maritimes & Northeast has received accolades for its economic and environmental benefits. Duke Energy is a 37.5 percent owner of Maritimes & Northeast and serves as the operator of the U.S. portion of the pipeline.

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational 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:

Contact: Danny Gibbs
Phone: 704/373-6680
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