Tampa Electric surpasses environmental improvement targets
Company reports 2007 environmental achievements
TAMPA, February 18, 2008
Tampa Electric today reported that as of December 31, 2007, the company has reduced its air emissions as follows, versus 1998 levels:
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2) – 93 percent
- Nitrogen oxide (NOx) – 60 percent
- Particulate matter (PM) – more than 70 percent
- Mercury (Hg) – more than 70 percent
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) – 20 percent
These reductions, which make Tampa Electric one of the cleanest utilities in the nation utilizing coal and with no nuclear generation, are the result of an industry-leading 10-year, $1.2 billion environmental improvement program, currently in its final stages. The plan involved the repowering of the company’s oldest coal-fired plant from coal to natural gas, which has been completed, and the addition of state-of-the-art pollution controls to a second coal-fired facility, which is currently underway.
By 2010, as a result of the company’s installation of selective catalytic reduction equipment, the company expects overall reduction of NOx to be 90 percent. The company has already surpassed its original 2010 SO2 projection of an 89 percent reduction.
No other utility in the state, and very few in the nation, have achieved similar reductions in emissions.
President Chuck Black said, “We are enormously proud of the leadership our team has demonstrated to achieve this positive environmental profile. We work very hard, every day, to balance the need to provide our customers with affordable, reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment.”
In Florida, of the 25 conventional coal-fired units in the state, only five of those have state-of-the-art controls for SO2 and NOx – four of those belong to Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station. The company’s only other coal-fired unit, Polk 1, is a clean coal gasification unit, recognized as the cleanest coal unit in North America.
Recently, Tampa Electric was honored by the Chicago Climate Exchange for achieving its Phase I participation targets for CO2 reduction. While the commitment required in Phase I was a reduction of 4 percent below the average of the years 1998-2001, Tampa Electric far surpassed this level, with an actual reduction of more than 20 percent.
As a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange through its parent company, TECO Energy, Tampa Electric is recognized as complying with the most rigorous standards for greenhouse gas emissions available in North America today. The company joined Chicago Climate Exchange in 2004.
Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), launched in 2003, is the world’s first and North America’s only active voluntary, legally binding integrated trading system to reduce emissions of all six major greenhouse gases (GHGs).
In a letter to the company, Chicago Climate Exchange Chairman and CEO Richard Sandor said, “Upon enrolling in Chicago Climate Exchange, Tampa Electric took bold and practical action to help build an international carbon reduction market at a time when leadership in this area was rare.”
In addition to conventional generation, Tampa Electric is also providing innovative ways for its customers to increase their home and business energy efficiency, reducing their electricity costs and improving their own environmental profile. In 2007, the company received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission for 13 new conservation programs, and improvements to nine longstanding programs.
New programs include Energy Planner, which gives customers near real-time price signals on their energy use and allows them to make informed decisions on conserving energy based on that data. In the company’s highly successful Energy Planner pilot study, customers saved an average of one month’s worth of electricity costs over a one-year period. Tampa Electric is one of only a few utilities in southeast that offer a similar program.
Other new energy efficiency programs include a low-income program that provides energy-saving equipment like compact fluorescent light bulbs to qualifying residents.
Since their inception in 1979, Tampa Electric’s energy efficiency programs have offset the need to generate enough electricity to serve 550,000 average-sized homes over a 12-month period. Almost 400,000 customers have participated in the company’s energy-efficiency programs to date. Tampa Electric has been ranked in the top 10 utilities nationwide for its conservation programs.
The company is also continuing to explore new ways to incorporate energy from renewable sources into its portfolio, in ways that are affordable and reliable for customers. The company recently installed a new photovoltaic solar array at Middleton High School in Tampa, where it is not only the largest such array in Florida’s public schools, but also a useful teaching tool for science faculty. In addition, the company is in the final stages of evaluating responses to an RFP for 150 megawatts of renewable capacity.
About Tampa Electric
Tampa Electric is the principal business of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by unregulated businesses. In addition to the regulated operations of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System, other subsidiaries are engaged in coal production, and electric generation and distribution and unregulated energy related businesses in Guatemala.