(April 10, 2002) -- The best utilities in the country deliver electricity to customers about 99.99 of the time. Sometimes referred to as "four nines" reliability, 99.99-percent power reliability is considered excellent by industry measures.

But for some pharmaceutical firms, health-care facilities or credit-card companies, even having electricity 99.99 percent of the time isn't good enough. Such customers operate at five or six "nines" of reliability -- 99.999 or even higher.

"We have customers who can't afford to be without power -- ever," said Mark Kruger, director of Power Protection Solutions in Progress Energy's Energy Services Department. "For them, even a few seconds in the dark represent lost product, lost data, lost service -- all adding up to lost revenues."

Kruger added that as long as there are lightning, storms, animals or other uncontrollable factors that cause problems, no electrical utility anywhere can be 100 percent reliable.

That's why CP&L and Florida Power offer customers Power Protection Solutions -- a family of solutions designed for commercial and industrial customers whose operations demand greater reliability and power quality than can be offered by a utility's delivery system.

This year, Power Protection Solutions includes four product and service offerings: Premier PowerTM, Turnkey Solutions, Managed Services and SecureSite.TM Each is designed to meet the needs of various customers -- from high-tech office buildings to research facilities -- with tailored flexibility, including equipment, expert advice and maintenance.

Premier Power: This service provides customers with utility-owned onsite generating equipment to serve as a back-up power source if service is interrupted. It also gives CP&L and Florida Power the flexibility to dispatch generation when it economically benefits the system. The customer pays a fixed monthly fee that appears on the utility bill. Premier Power provides back-up generation in sizes ranging from 200 to 3,500 kW in the Carolinas, and 200 kW and more in Florida.

Turnkey Solutions: This service provides power quality and reliability while allowing the customer to own and maintain the equipment. Typically, the equipment provided includes generators, uninterrupted power supply systems and transient voltage surge suppression. Power Protection Solutions designs, contracts, schedules, installs and, at the customer's option, maintains the system.

Managed Services: Managed Services is a cost-effective program that provides the customer with a reliable power system and maintenance plan. Charging only a monthly service fee, the Power Protection Solutions team will design, install, commission and service the system. Like Turnkey Solutions, typical equipment includes generators, uninterrupted power supply systems, and transient voltage surge suppression. Unlike Turnkey Solutions, however, CP&L or Florida Power maintains ownership of Managed Service installations, where permitted by law.

SecureSite: This service is an integrated reliability solution specifically designed for data centers, critical research and development operations, online trading, and e-businesses. It offers the power reliability of Premier Power with other critical systems such as precise temperature and humidity control, continuous monitoring, maintenance and repair, and broadband access. As with Premier Power, CP&L or Florida Power owns, operates and maintains all equipment for a fixed monthly fee.

Springboard Managed Hosting in Cary, N.C., is a Premier Power customer. Rich Lee, chief executive officer, said it offers his company the reliability needed to serve its own customers.

"We at Springboard Managed Hosting have been very pleased with CP&L's Premier Power program," Lee said. "We are a data center and Web host, and our customers demand 99.999 percent availability from our infrastructure. Outsourcing our generator needs to CP&L and knowing that it is tested and maintained weekly gives us the ability to focus on our core competencies."

Kruger said that despite the recent downturn in the "dot-com" economy, there are still plenty of companies that require an uninterrupted supply of power.

"Throughout 2002, we will focus on several key market segments -- commercial developers and property managers, institutional and governmental agencies, health-care facilities, and digital-economy and mission-critical operations," Kruger said. "We offer comprehensive, unique solutions that despite recent economic hardships can only help position companies for growth and profitability."

Power Protection Solutions has installed distributed generation resources to address the critical power needs of customers since 1998. At the end of 2001, CP&L and Florida Power had developed company-owned power solutions for 15 sites representing 14.5 MW of generation capacity. The department plans to add at least 50 MW of installed capacity within the next five years.

"As the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, companies will seek solutions that offer them an edge over rivals," Kruger said. "We believe Power Protection Solutions represents a true competitive edge."

For more information about Springboard Managed Hosting's use of Premier Power, contact Rich Lee at rlee@springboardhosting.com For more information about Power Protection Solutions, contact Mark Kruger at (919) 546-2658 or Mark.Kruger@pgnmail.com

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