Electric co-ops contract with Duke Energy Carolinas for wholesale power resources

Lenoir, NC, May 22, 2006 — Three North Carolina electric membership co-ops announced that they have signed long-term agreements with Duke Energy Carolinas to begin supplying a portion of their wholesale power resource needs effective September 1, 2006. The three co-ops serve approximately 165,000 North Carolina residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

The boards of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp., Piedmont Electric Membership Corp. and Rutherford Electric Membership Corp. recently approved the new wholesale power supply agreements. The individual co-op boards approved the decision after a thorough joint wholesale power resource study that included input from one of the nation’s leading power supply consultants and the energy industry’s most respected legal advisors.

Through the agreements, Duke will provide power scheduling services and will serve an increasing amount of the co-ops’ wholesale power requirements through 2021. The agreements also include options to extend the contract for additional terms.

The agreements are subject to approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is the federal commission that regulates Duke’s wholesale transactions, and Rural Utilities Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, which is the co-op’s federal lending agency.

In addition to resources provided by Duke, the three co-ops, which are independent members of North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., will receive a decreasing portion of their power resources from Catawba Nuclear Station and other sources through an existing long-term contract with NCEMC and from existing agreements with Morgan Stanley Capital Group through 2010.

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