News Release
Jan. 17, 2001

California's Morro Bay Unit 1 Back Online in Two Hours After Forced Outage

MORRO BAY, Calif. As you may know, the California Independent System Operator declared a Stage Three Emergency early this morning at 2:00 A.M. when available electric supplies in California fell below one and a half percent.

Unfortunately, Morro Bay Unit 1, which was producing 162 megawatts of electricity, began to experience excessive turbine vibration and tripped off line at 11:30 a.m. this morning. Our staff rapidly addressed the issue and brought the unit back on line "parallel to the grid" two hours later at 1:30 p.m. At 3:00 p.m., the unit was fully available to the grid.

The Morro Bay Power Plant became operational in 1956 and has four units that produce 1,000 megawatts, enough to supply about one million households.

Over the past year, the plant's operational levels have been extraordinary and the plant has played a key role in serving California's wholesale electricity needs. During the year 2000, the plant had its second highest capacity factor in its 44-year history. Unit 1 has been in constant operation since June 9, 2000, with the exception of two brief periods in November and January when it was uneconomical to operate the unit in the state's wholesale electricity market.

Duke Energy North America is currently in the permitting process with the California Energy Commission to completely replace the existing power plant with a state-of-the-art combined cycle plant that can produce 1,200 megawatts.

For more information about Duke Energy North America's California operations and our perspectives on the state's electricity crisis, see our web site at

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