CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy provided a much needed boost to the California electric grid this week through the company’s two new natural gas-fired electric generating units at its Moss Landing power plant in Monterey, Calif. The units brought 1,060 megawatts to the grid ahead of schedule and were available during this week’s record heat wave across the West and the resulting high demand for electricity.

“The California Independent System Operator declared the first system emergency of 2002 this week, demonstrating the continued need for additional generation to meet the electricity needs of the state’s consumers,” said Jim Donnell, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy North America (DENA), which develops merchant plants to provide power to the competitive wholesale market. “We are pleased that we were able to make these units available ahead of schedule to help provide relief as part of our continued effort to provide solutions to the California energy market.”

One of the new Moss Landing units began commercial operation a few weeks ago with the second unit providing power to help meet soaring demand earlier in the week, even as it was going through final testing.

Duke Energy has four power plants in California with a capacity of more than 4,400 megawatts -- enough energy to serve about 4.4 million households.