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Duke, SCANA and CP&L Form RTO

Duke, SCANA and CP&L Form RTO

In compliance with FERC Order 2000, SCANA, CP&L Energy and Duke Energy have discussed the formation of an independent regional transmission organization (RTO). The three companies would empower the proposed RTO to be known as GridSouth, with the responsibility of planning and operating their transmission systems.

GridSouth will initially assume a range of operational and planning responsibilities to ensure equal and non-discriminatory access to the grid. During the initial stages, CP&L, Duke and SCANA will retain ownership of their existing transmission infrastructures.

"The intent of our three companies is to move the RTO towards a broad, regional independent transmission company that spans the Southeast," stated Duke Energy Chairman Richard B. Priory. "This is an important first step towards a system that is more responsive to customers' needs and at the same time creates value for shareholders."

Presentations of the initial proposal to public stakeholders are scheduled to take place during regional public meetings in August and September. At least four meetings will be held to explain the RTO's plans and solicit comments from public stakeholders. The first meeting will discuss a general overview of the planned GridSouth RTO and will be held in Charlotte, NC, on Aug. 2. Three more meetings that will deal with specific issues are planned for Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Columbia, SC.

"In complying with FERC Order 2000, we will work to ensure that our customers continue to receive the reliable, low-cost electricity service that they have come to expect," said Scana Chairman William B. Timmerman.

Upon completion of the meetings, the RTO proposal will be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not later than Oct. 16. This would go along with FERC's plan to have all utilities in RTOs by Dec. 15, 2001. As of Aug. 2, time schedules of meetings and information about the proposed RTO can be found on the web at http://www.gridsouth.com.

"Taking a regional approach to transmission is both efficient and ultimately beneficial to all of our customers," said William Cavanaugh, CP&L's chairman. "Planning for and operating transmission on a regional basis should make our already competitive wholesale electricity markets even more robust."

Combined, the three utilities own and operate more than 22,000 miles of transmission line and about 34,500 MW of electricity generation.

Alex Steis

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