After evaluating bids, Tampa Electric plans to expand Polk Power Station
TAMPA, August 22, 2012
After careful consideration, Tampa Electric has decided to expand the Polk Power Station to meet the company’s power needs for 2017, as outlined in its Request for Proposals in March.
To accommodate customer growth and to replace purchased-power agreements due to expire, Tampa Electric will need additional power in five years. After reviewing several competitive bids, Tampa Electric determined that the self-build option is the best and most cost-effective way to address those needs.
“Expanding the Polk Power Station provides the best value to customers based on cost, reliability and flexibility, as well as environmental performance,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “We are committed to meeting our customers’ needs for safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity.”
In coming weeks, the company will file a Petition of Need with the Florida Public Service Commission and a Site Certification Application with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
If the project is approved, Tampa Electric will expand the plant by about 460 megawatts, or enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes. The expansion would convert the four existing simple-cycle natural gas units to a more efficient combined-cycle unit by January 2017. At the peak of construction, the project would create about 500 local jobs.
The project would capture the waste heat of the existing combustion turbines and increase the output of the gas-fired units by 70 percent without the need to purchase additional land. The project also would improve transmission reliability and dramatically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide of the company’s system.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves more than 672,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.