SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- EUCG, a global association of energy professionals that does benchmarking surveys and seeks to identify best practices in the electric utility industry, announced at its annual spring conference the winners of its "Best Performer" power plant award. Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) swept this spring's awards, taking honors in both the small and large plant categories. The utility's Asheville Plant was named the best performing small power plant. For this award, "small" plants are defined as having an average unit size of 210 megawatts or less. In addition, Progress Energy's Roxboro Plant was tapped for the large plant award for plants with an average unit size in excess of 210 megawatts. The Progress Energy plants beat out 380 other EUCG member company fossil- fueled power units. To determine the award winners, EUCG's independent third- party contractor analyzed cost and performance data over a five-year period. Along with cost, analysis included the evaluation of such performance measures as equivalent availability and forced outage rates. EUCG member companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe submitted data to EUCG for consideration in this year's Best Performer awards. "It's very unusual for the same utility to win both small and large plant categories for 'Best Performer,'" said James Patrick, Chairperson for EUCG's Fossil Productivity Committee. "Every year, there is intense competition among our utility membership to win recognition as a 'Best Performer'. The two Progress Energy plants chosen for our awards performed very well over the evaluation period." Small Plant Best Performer: Asheville Plant (Progress Energy) Progress Energy's Asheville Plant, located near Skyland, N.C., has served Western North Carolina since 1964 and has two coal-fired units capable of generating up to 394 megawatts. As part of the North Carolina Clean Smokestacks legislation, the plant is currently installing new environmental control technologies that will reduce air emissions. In total, the company will invest more than $190 million on environmental upgrades at the Asheville Plant. Bill Phipps, Asheville Plant manager, credits the plant's 72 employees for being the differentiating factor in the organization's success. "Our people are committed to doing the right things every day in terms of safety, reliability and cost control," Phipps said. Large Plant Best Performer: Roxboro Plant (Progress Energy) Progress Energy's Roxboro Plant, located in Person County, N.C., went online with its first unit in 1966. Since then, the plant has set impressive performance milestones as an integral part of Progress Energy's fossil fleet. This year, unit 4 of the Roxboro Plant recently set a Progress Energy generation record, surpassing 748 days of continuous operation. The unit was taken off-line April 20, 2005 for routine maintenance. In 2004, Unit 1 of the Roxboro Plant set a record for the company's coal-fired fleet by completing 518 days online. The 748-day run is among the longest in the utility industry. Both the continuous run records and the award from EUCG industry prove that our Roxboro station is among the top power plants in the country," said Cecil Rowland, Roxboro Plant Manager "The credit for those achievements goes to our employees who demonstrate daily their commitment to excellence in all of our operations," Rowland added. The four units of the Roxboro Plant are capable of generating more than 2,400 megawatts. EUCG will hold its fall conference in Boston. All energy professionals are invited. Interested parties should visit the EUCG website ( http://www.eucg.org ) for more information. About EUCG: EUCG is a global association of energy and electric utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best practices, and exchange data for benchmarking purposes. The association is organized into four (4) separate committees that represent specific utility functions: Transmission & Distribution (T&D), Fossil plants, Hydro plants and Nuclear plants. Members attend semi-annual conferences that focus on strategic planning, maintenance practices, operations management, outage management, and various other aspects of the electric utility business. Membership is open to all utility companies and professionals worldwide. Interested parties should contact Pat Kovalesky - EUCG Executive Director, at 1-623-572-4140. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.eucg.org .