RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 23, 2003 — Progress Energy’s fleet of four nuclear-powered electricity generating plants performed at record setting levels during 2002, producing approximately 36 percent of the company’s electricity.
Progress Energy’s nuclear program generated more than 34.5 million megawatt-hours (MWH) of electricity during the year for its 2.7 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida.
Progress Energy’s nuclear plants had a combined capacity factor of 97.3 percent in 2002, the best-ever total performance for the company’s nuclear generation group. Capacity factor measures the plants’ operating efficiency by comparing how much electricity is actually produced with the amount of electricity the plants are capable of producing.
“The combination of operational excellence and effective resource management has driven down our costs of generating electricity with nuclear power by about 50 percent over the last decade,” said C.S. “Scotty” Hinnant, Progress Energy’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “This reduction in nuclear production costs has been achieved while the safety and reliability of the plants has improved. The reduced costs have helped Progress Energy to offset rising costs in nearly every other area of our economy and has contributed significantly to very stable electricity rates for our customers during the same time period.”
Each of Progress Energy’s four nuclear power plants established several new safety and performance records during 2002.
The Brunswick Plant, a two-reactor facility located near Southport, N.C.:
“- Unit 1 achieved a world record for a light water nuclear reactor by operating continuously without a unit shutdown for 707 consecutive days.
“- Unit 2 had its best ever production year in 2002, generating more than 7 million megawatt-hours at a capacity factor of 99.6 percent.
“- Employee safety continues to be excellent at the Brunswick Plant, with the facility achieving its lowest ever personnel injury rate.
The Crystal River Nuclear Plant, located near Crystal River, FL:
“- Generated more than 7.3 million megawatt-hours, the most ever generated at Crystal River’s nuclear unit.
“- Operated at a capacity factor of 99.9 percent.
“- Employees worked the entire year without any OSHA recordable or lost-time injuries.
The Harris Plant, located near New Hill, N.C.:
“- Generated more than 7.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity, a site record.
“- Operated at a capacity factor of 99.4 percent, the second best in the history of the plant.
“- Employees continued their four-year record of working safely, with more than five million work hours logged without a lost-time injury.
The Robinson Plant, located near Hartsville, S.C.:
“- Completed a record-setting 517-day run, operating continuously throughout its one and a half-year fuel cycle.
“- Employees have worked safely for more than nine million total hours without a lost-time injury, a record that began January 1994.
“While we are proud of our recent performance, employees at our nuclear plants and throughout Progress Energy are committed to building on our record of safe and efficient production and delivery of electricity to our communities,” said Hinnant.
“In addition to our employees maintaining and operating the plants to very high standards, Progress Energy also increased the output of the Brunswick, Harris and Robinson plants by approximately 120 megawatts during 2002,” said Hinnant. “These increases in generation capacity — enough to power more than 100,000 average homes at any given time — will ensure that our nuclear power plants continue to safely produce large amounts of reliable electricity for our customers well into the future.”
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 21,900 megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. The company’s holdings include two electric utilities serving more than 2.7 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress Energy also includes non- regulated operations covering merchant generation, energy marketing, natural gas exploration, fuel extraction, rail services and broadband capacity. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com.