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EEI awards Progress Energy with hurricane response award

WASHINGTON, DC (December 15, 2004) -- The Edison Electric Institute today honored Progress Energy with the association's "Emergency Response Award" for outstanding efforts to restore electric power in the wake of an unprecedented series powerful storms that pounded the state over a five-week period in August and September. Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne unleashed a devastating blow on the company's Florida and Carolinas service territories, leaving millions of customers without electricity.

EEI's "Emergency Assistance Award" is presented annually to recognize outstanding efforts to help restore electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following a national nomination process.

The 2004 hurricane season was an especially punishing one for Progress Energy's Florida service areas, marking the first time in recorded history that four hurricanes targeted the state with massive barrages of heavy wind and flooding rains over such a short time frame.

The resulting devastation, including damage to nearly 60 percent of the company's transmission and distribution systems, prompted Progress Energy to bring in restoration crews from as far away as California, Nevada and Canada to assist in the recovery. Further complicating matters was the fact that many of the linemen and tree trimmers that normally would have been called upon to assist in the recovery were already engaged in restoration efforts previous hurricanes, or in some cases, preparing for a new storm yet to make landfall.

Recognizing the company for "outstanding work under extreme conditions," EEI president Thomas R. Kuhn commended Progress Energy's extensive storm-recovery plans. "Progress Energy was faced with the Herculean task of not only cleaning up after two or even three successive storms, but also battening down in preparation for a fourth at the same time," Kuhn said.

Progress Energy maintains an extensive storm plan that is regularly reviewed, drilled and revised to ensure that all employees are poised to spring into action when the time comes. Additionally, company storm teams updated these plans with "lessons learned" and, as a result, the Progress Energy's Florida and Carolinas logistics, communications, safety and security procedures were carried out with increased efficiency with each passing storm?a hallmark of the 2004 season.

Kuhn went on to note; "Using lessons learned from past events, the company quickly and efficiently implemented best-practices to maximize manpower and reduce damage to equipment. It is during times like these that our industry shows its merit, and for that it is truly a privilege to present the men and women of Progress Energy with this award."

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Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of United Statesinvestor-owned electric utilities and industry affiliates and associates worldwide. Its domestic members generate approximately three-quarters of all the electricity generated by electric utilities in the country and serve about 70 percent of all ultimate customers in the nation.

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