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TECO Energy addresses the 2020 Study Commission, endorses wholesale electric competition

TAMPA, November 15, 2000

At today’s meeting of the Florida 2020 Commission in Tallahassee, TECO Energy Senior Vice President Richard Lehfeldt presented the company’s position on wholesale electric competition and offered advice for moving forward with a competitive model.

According to Lehfeldt, electric competition has already arrived in Florida. He referenced as evidence the formation of a Florida regional transmission organization (RTO), the intense merger and acquisition activity in the state, the competing proposals for new gas pipelines to serve the state and in the fierce competition for building new power plants to serve the growing population.

"The question before this commission is not whether to embark on a competitive model for the state, but what structural changes are necessary to accommodate the competition that has already arrived," said Lehfeldt.

To answer this question, Lehfeldt focused his remarks on three broad areas: RTO development, generation issues and fiscal concerns.

Key recommendations from the presentation are listed below:
Enact state legislation to establish a mandate for 100 percent participation in the Florida RTO, once implemented;

Establish a generation reserves floor, a statutory guarantee that the state’s capacity needs, including reserve margins, will be met under any circumstances;

Establish an environmental ceiling, or outside limit on Florida’s reserve margin to avoid overutilization of Florida’s limited land, air and water resources;

Move Florida’s existing generation out of the existing regulatory scheme, to allow it to compete on an equal footing with new generation;

Establish provision that municipal and cooperative electric providers be given the opportunity to compete in the wholesale market or opt out of that market – but not both;

Ensure that the state does not suffer a revenue shortfall through restructuring; and

Ensure that all competitors in a restructured market are treated equally.
TECO Energy and Tampa Electric Company have supported the 2020 Commission since its inception.

"We applaud the Commission’s efforts in moving Florida toward a wholesale competitive market, and we believe that if properly designed, this market structure will comfortably meet the substantial supply and economic needs of Florida’s consumers," said Lehfeldt.

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

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