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10 Innovators to Watch in 1999

Fortnightly Magazine - December 1998

some of the lowest capital costs anywhere, as they were built at 60 percent of the national average.

Duke also is a supplier of 12 percent of the country's natural gas. PanEnergy brought more than 37,000 miles of pipeline to the merger. Duke owns 37.5 percent of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which will eventually ship four trillion cubic feet of gas to the Boston market, and 9.8 percent of the volume of proposed Alliance Pipeline, which will put 1.3 billion cubic feet a day of gas into the Midwest.

Duke has 22,000 employees, making it one of three major employers in Charlotte, N.C. It serves about two million residential customers in North and South Carolina.

For 1999, Duke plans to become the largest energy services company, with enough generation to back up its trading and marketing. Priory says, "you should see us announcing the control or ownership of substantial amounts of additional electric megawattage." Observers also can expect Duke to build plants and be active internationally, especially in Australia and perhaps Latin America. Duke also expects to acquire more natural gas gathering and processing plants.

"We have a strategy that says to be successful, we need a critical mass with regard to our fuel book and ability to convert fuel from molecules into electrons," Priory says. "We have a solid plan on how many megawatts, what type of megawatts, how many transportation routes, access to which supply areas that will make us successful in different regions."

Duke has a habit of building unregulated businesses. Its Duke Engineering & Services Inc., for instance, has been built into a $500 million, 3,000-employee enterprise, making it one of the largest engineering companies in the world. "We have a good deal of expertise in designing and building power plants," Priory says. He notes the engineering subsidiary brought the first phase of its $265-million, 340-megawatt Bridgeport, Conn. project on line in 10 months. The second 180-MW phase is expected to be finished by mid-1999. "I don't think you'll find anyone who's done that, through all the licensing, all the permitting and all the kit and caboodle." w

Paula Rosput, president and COO, Atlanta Gas Light Co.

"There's two kinds of excecutives in this world," says Paula Rosput, who has been president and chief operating officer of Atlanta Gas Light Co. for nearly three months. "Those who sit on the ship and watch the battle and those who storm the beaches. I like to be a risk taker, because it exposes you to much more interesting work."

Rosput has been storming beaches throughout her career, but industry took notice when she boosted the unregulated Duke Energy Power Services from a $100-million asset-based concern to a $1.6-billion company. As president of the Duke subsidiary, she was instrumental in seeing new generation plants built in Connecticut and Florida. She also helped engineer Duke's biggest U.S. power station purchase (em three California plants for $501 million.

Earlier in her career, she had worked at PG&E and PanEnergy Power Services Inc., both of which might called safe, regulated havens.

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