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Tampa Electric, other utilities file to create Florida RTO

TAMPA, October 16, 2000

Tampa Electric Company, along with Florida Power & Light Company and Florida Power Corp., is filing today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to create a regional transmission organization (RTO) to serve peninsular Florida. The RTO will be known as GridFlorida LLC.

As proposed, GridFlorida LLC would independently control the transmission assets of the three filing utilities, as well as other utilities in the region that choose to join. The filing is in response to FERC’s Order No. 2000, which was issued in December 1999.

Order No. 2000 requires all investor-owned electric utilities subject to FERC regulation to file a proposal on how they would create or join an RTO, or describe any barriers to joining or forming such a group. RTOs are designed to promote efficiency in wholesale electric markets and to provide customers with reliable electric service at reasonable cost. Proposed RTOs are expected to begin operation by Dec. 15, 2001.

A 10-month collaborative process among the three filing utilities and other stakeholders, including Florida municipal and cooperative utilities, independent power developers, power marketers, the Florida Public Service Commission and others, led to the development of this filing.

GridFlorida LLC will be an independent, investor-owned organization that will have control of the planning and operations of the bulk power transmission systems of utilities within peninsular Florida. The three filing utilities represent almost 80 percent of the aggregate net energy load in the region based on projections for the year 2000.

Tampa Electric President John Ramil said, "We fully support the goal of creating a stronger, more competitive wholesale electric market in Florida. Our RTO proposal includes what we’ve been learning from other states and sends the Florida market well on the way to achieving the objectives of a level playing field for all electric generating companies and ultimate benefits for consumers."

Following this filing, the three utilities and other stakeholders will continue the collaborative process, with another filing scheduled for December, which will contain additional details of the proposed RTO.

Tampa Electric is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), a diversified energy-related holding company headquartered in Tampa. Its other principal businesses are Peoples Gas, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, TECO Coalbed Methane and TECO Solutions.

For more information on TECO Energy and Tampa Electric, visit us online at www.tecoenergy.com and www.tampaelectric.com. For the complete filing, visit www.flatransco.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ross Bannister –
Tampa Electric

813/ 228-4945

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon