Tampa Electric Completes First Phase of a $330 Million Air Pollution Control Project
TAMPA, June 5, 2007
Tampa Electric today announced that phase one of the installation of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) equipment at the company's Big Bend Power Station is complete. Big Bend Power Station's unit four was the first to receive the new equipment, which is designed to further reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant.
The $330 million dollar emission control project, which will make the Big Bend Power Station one of the cleanest coal-fired power stations in the nation, is scheduled to be completed in three additional phases: unit three by May 1, 2008; unit two by May 1, 2009; and unit one by May 1, 2010. When completed in late 2010 the project will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at Big Bend by approximately 85 percent from 1998 levels.
"This SCR project is an excellent example of Tampa Electric's commitment to initiatives that protect the environment while ensuring that there will be sufficient power generation to provide our community with reliable and affordable electricity, now and in the future," said president Chuck Black.
SCR in a coal-fired power plant works much like an automobile's catalytic converter, which reduces emissions produced by the car's internal combustion engine. Prior to exiting the car's tailpipe, exhaust gasses pass through the catalytic converter, where a chemical reaction takes place and the unburned hydrocarbons are eliminated. At a power plant, nitrogen oxide emissions pass through the SCR catalyst and react with ammonia, converting it into elemental nitrogen and water.
The SCR project is part of a sweeping 10-year, $1.5-billion Tampa Electric program which was the centerpiece of its agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and Florida's Department of Environmental Protection to dramatically reduce overall emissions from its power plants. As part of the environmental improvement program, the company also repowered the nearly 50-year-old coal-burning Gannon Power Station to natural gas, creating the H.L. Culbreath Bayside Power Station.
Tampa Electric is an industry pioneer in environmentally responsible power generation and is well on the way to making dramatic emissions reductions while others in the industry remain in the planning stages.
Tampa Electric's commitment to the environment also includes encouraging its customers to participate in the company's energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
Tampa Electric began its energy efficiency initiatives in the late 1970s prior to any federal or state energy conservation requirements. The company continues to promote energy efficiency to its customers through various programs including its Home Energy Audit, which identifies energy consumption problems, and Heating and Cooling Rebates and Ceiling Insulation Programs. From 1979 through 2006, Tampa Electric's conservation programs have offset the need to generate enough electricity to serve 528,000 average size homes over a 12-month period.
Almost 400,000 customers have participated in Tampa Electric's energy efficiency programs to date, which has resulted in the company paying energy conservation incentives to approximately 270,000 customers.
Tampa Electric is also a leader in renewable energy programs which allow residential and business customers to buy a portion of their energy requirements from in-state renewable resources. The company's Renewable Energy program invests in renewable sources like solar energy, landfill gas and biomass (plant clippings) to offset the use of coal to generate electricity.
Customers can purchase blocks of power generated from renewable sources of energy in increments of $5 per month added to their monthly electric bill. Since April 2004, customer participation in the program has increased from 233 to 1,552.
In 1999, the company installed an 18,000-watt solar panel at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa . Additional installations include a 4,000-watt solar panel at Walker Middle School in Odessa, a 7,000-watt solar panel at Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach and a 10,500-watt solar panel at Middleton High School in Tampa . The energy generated by these arrays serves Tampa Electric's renewable generation resources, reducing the need for energy from non-renewable sources.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with core businesses in the utility sector, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Tampa Electric Company is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in waterborne transportation, coal and synthetic fuel production and independent power.