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AdvanceSC Commits to $2.7 Million in Grants

July 19, 2005

GREENVILLE, S.C. - AdvanceSC has committed to $2.7 million in grants supporting South Carolina communities. AdvanceSC was established by Duke Power in 2004 to provide public assistance, advance education to support industry, assist economic development organizations to attract and retain industries, and enhance the competitive position of manufacturers in Duke Power's service territory.

Duke Power funds AdvanceSC with a portion of its profits from certain wholesale or bulk power marketing (BPM) sales of electricity allocable to South Carolina. The funding amount will vary from year to year, based on wholesale sales profits.

"AdvanceSC is off to a great start with the awarding of these initial grants," said Robert M. Hitt, president of AdvanceSC. "Those receiving the grants share the goals Duke Power used in establishing the organization."

AdvanceSC funds are divided among four programs:

Public assistance programs, such as Duke Power's Share the Warmth, Cooling Assistance, and the Fan Relief programs, provide assistance to upstate residents with difficulties in paying their energy bills. So far some $375,000 has been provided to public assistance agencies to fund these programs.

Manufacturing Competitiveness Fund (MCF) grants encourage companies to continue to make investments within the Duke Power South Carolina service area or to consider the region as the place to consolidate their manufacturing operations.

MCF grants are given to existing manufacturers in the Duke Power service area for investment in energy-related projects that improve productivity, improve reliability, increase cost control and efficiency, or reduce environmental impacts. Total funding to date is $4.2 million and $727,849 in projects has been approved. Grants have been awarded for 24 projects including a chiller replacement, lighting modifications and upgrades, and cooling tower upgrades.

Educational programs support training for existing or targeted manufacturing industries. Total funding for educational programs to date is $2.1 million. So far $1,285,482 in grants has been approved. Types of educational programs funded include work force training for various industries, retraining programs for displaced textile workers and university-sponsored programs that attract new industry to the region.

At Clemson University, a $50,000 grant will help establish a new model baccalaureate degree program in applied technology for graduates of a two-year technical college program (designed for a seamless transition with two years of Clemson course work).

Greenville Technical College will use a $200,000 grant to develop a new high-impact learning model of the aircraft inspection and maintenance process which will be incorporated into the basic science and technology courses in the aircraft maintenance technology curriculum.

Economic development initiatives create new sustainable manufacturing-related jobs in North Carolina and South Carolina. AdvanceSC total funding to date for these programs is $2.1 million. To date, grants totaling $279,050 have been approved. The funds are distributed through grants to key regional and state economic development organizations including economic development partnerships, chambers of commerce and state or local departments of commerce. One recipient, Alliance Pickens, will use its $30,000 grant for an industrial park site assessment. "Product development is mission critical to the attainment of Alliance Pickens' job creation and private sector capital investment objectives. This AdvanceSC grant will significantly assist Alliance Pickens to identify, assess and validate our next industrial park site to stimulate future job creation and capital investment," said Ray Farley, executive director, Alliance Pickens.

AdvanceSC is a limited liability company that supports economic growth and public assistance agencies in Duke Power's South Carolina service area. Established by Duke Power in 2004, AdvanceSC is managed by a board of directors independent of Duke Power. The board makes all funding decisions and is responsible for fund administration, including the selection and oversight of a fund administrator. The fund administrator is Wachovia Charitable Services, Greenville , S.C. To learn more about AdvanceSC and its grant-making process, visit its Web site: http://www.advancesc.org.

Contact: Rose Cummings
Phone: (704) 382-6681
24-Hour: (704) 382-8333, option 1