Florida PSC approves Hines 2 for Florida Power Corp.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 21, 2000 (PRNewswire) — The Florida Public Service Commission has unanimously approved Florida Power’s request for permission to build a second 530 megawatt high efficiency power plant at the company’s Hines Energy Complex in Polk County, Florida.

The new unit, which will be known as Hines 2, will help meet the needs of the company’s growing customer base in Florida and increase the state’s overall generation capacity and reliability.

The unit is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2003. The Hines 2 unit will be a sister unit to the already operating Hines 1 unit. Like Hines 1, which went into service in April 1999, the new unit will be a state-of-the-art, combined-cycle plant built by Siemens/Westinghouse and fueled by clean-burning natural gas.

“Building Hines 2 is just one of the many ways Florida Power will meet its commitment to customers to provide competitively priced, reliable energy as the region continues to grow,” said Florida Power President William Habermeyer.

“This new power plant ensures that we will be able to meet the growing energy needs of our customers.”

Before the company can begin construction of the unit, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection must approve a Supplemental Site Certification. The company filed for this certification in July of 2000, and hearings on the request are expected to be held in the spring of 2001, with a final determination expected by late spring.

Florida Power is a subsidiary of Progress Energy. Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) is a Fortune 500 diversified holding company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. Progress Energy is one of the top 10 generators of electricity in the United States with more than 19,000 megawatts of capacity and $7 billion in annual revenues.

The company’s diverse portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L and Florida Power, as well as NCNG, SRS, Progress Telecom and an important new organization, Energy Ventures, which has been created to manage wholesale energy marketing and trading, merchant generation, fuel properties, as well as barge and rail subsidiaries.

These companies serve 2.8 million customers across the Southeast, providing electricity, natural gas, energy services and broadband capacity. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at: http://www.progress-energy.com.

SOURCE: Florida Power Corporation