BOSTON, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Energy's (NYSE: LNT) Dubuque Plant and Duke Power's (NYSE: DUK) Marshall Station took top honors for EUCG's "Best Performer" power plant award at the organization's Annual Fall Conference. 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. Runners-up included Southern Company's (NYSE: SO) Miller Plant, American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP) Northeastern Station, and Alliant Energy's M.L. Kapp and Nelson Dewey power plants. Winners were chosen from a large dataset of plant-level cost and performance data submitted by EUCG member utilities. EUCG's independent third-party contractor analyzed the data and then rank-ordered the plants to determine the top three performers for both the large and small plant award categories. Plant performance was gauged on critical performance measures such as equivalent availability, forced outage rate and unplanned outage factors. EUCG member companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe submitted data to EUCG for consideration in this year's Best Performer awards. The fall conference awards are based on one-year plant performance between January and December of the previous year. During EUCG's annual spring conference, the organization recognizes best-performing plants over a five- year period. "The selection of 'Best Performer' plants continues to be a highly popular activity among our members," said James Patrick of Ameren (NYSE: AEE), who serves as chairperson for EUCG's Fossil Productivity Committee. "The award winners have much to be proud of -- given they were selected from such a large population of potential plants. Their performance is truly elite." Large Plant Best Performer: Marshall Station (Duke Energy) Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station, located in Catawba County, N.C., is a four-unit, 2,110-megawatt coal plants whose first unit went online in 1965. Subsequent units became operational in 1966, 1969 and 1970. Plant Manager Tom Rawe described the belief system that led to his plant's success with this year's EUCG award: "At the Marshall Station, we stress processes and procedures consistent with our goal of running from planned outage to planned outage. We believe plant reliability is our most important product." Rawe added, "Our forced outage rate was only 1.57% during 2004, and we believe we can improve on that in years to come, and do it cost effectively." The Southern Company's Miller plant, a four-unit, 2,742-megawatt coal plant, took second place in the large plant category. American Electric Power's two-unit, 935-megawatt Northeastern 3-4 plant was awarded third place. Small Plant Best Performer: Dubuque Plant (Alliant Energy) Alliant Energy's Dubuque Plant, located in Dubuque, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, is a 83-megawatt coal and natural gas plant whose units currently in operation went online as early as 1929 (Unit 2) and as late as 1959 (Unit 4). "Our experienced and seasoned workforce is the main reason our plant performs so well," said Plant Manager Craig Crawford. "The employees are dedicated to reducing and preventing unplanned outages. Our people deserve all the credit." Alliant's M.L. Kapp (250 megawatts) and Nelson Dewey (200 megawatts) also took second and third place in the small coal category. "It's unusual for a single company to sweep an award category," said Patrick. "That's only happened one other time, so Alliant must be doing something pretty special." EUCG will hold its 2006 spring conference in Anaheim, Calif. 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 five (5) separate committees that represent specific utility functions: Transmission & Distribution (T&D), Fossil Plants, Hydro Plants, Nuclear Plants, and Information Technology (IT) departments. 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 .