Tampa Electric to reduce size of Kirby street transmission poles by 40 percent
TAMPA, November 24, 2003
Tampa Electric today announced that it has completed its evaluation of alternatives to the current Juneau Loop configuration and has arrived at a fair compromise, balancing community values, reliability and affordability.
This alternate route, which meets the system’s reliability needs includes:
Replacing the current “double circuit” transmission structures on Kirby Street (between Lincoln and Armenia) with a single 138-kV transmission circuit. This will reduce the height of the poles on that street from 125 to 75 feet in height. The groundline diameter of the poles will be reduced from 32 to 24 inches.
Reducing the size of the three largest diameter poles on Sitka Street between Lincoln and Habana.
Rerouting the 230-kV circuit from Kirby Street to a commercial road, such as Waters Avenue or Busch Boulevard.
Vice President-Energy Delivery Tom Hernandez said, “We looked at all the input we received from the public, and we’ve developed a reasonable compromise that is consistent with transmission infrastructure in other residential areas throughout our service territory, in the State of Florida and in our industry.”
Within the company’s 2,000-square-mile service territory and 1,200 miles of transmission infrastructure, hundreds of poles similar in size to those now planned for Kirby and Sitka streets can be found in residential settings.
The company has heard loud and clear that 125-foot transmission poles, while used commonly in other utilities’ service territories, are not favored by Tampa Electric customers in a two-lane, low-volume traffic residential setting.
“Residents told us that a greater number of smaller structures is preferable to a smaller number of larger structures,” said Hernandez.
“Florida is becoming increasingly urbanized, and we can’t guarantee that we will never have to use taller structures in the future. But, we will strive to minimize their use wherever possible,” added Hernandez.
However, some of the 125-foot structures immediately outside the Juneau Substation must remain to accommodate multiple circuits entering and leaving the facility and maintain safety and operating requirements.
The company estimates that construction on the revised route could begin next year and be complete within two years, based on comparable projects. The timeframe and feasibility are dependent in large part to a high level of coordination, cooperation and approvals that will be required between Tampa Electric and the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, CSX Railroad and other utilities and entities, as well as the community.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), a diversified holding company of energy-related businesses that include Peoples Gas System, TECO Power Services, TECO Transport, TECO Coal and TECO Solutions.