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Tampa Electric welcomes Virgin Islands energy experts to Tampa to study revolutionary micro-turbine system

TAMPA, July 15, 2003

Energy experts from the Virgin Islands will get an in-depth look at Tampa Electric ’s revolutionary Capstone micro-turbine generator -- believed to be the first in Florida to use its technology -- on Tuesday.

Representatives from The Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) will study the operational nuances of the generator at the Hillsborough County Landfill in Tampa. The group will mainly be focusing on Renewable Energy & Distributed Generation Technologies. David Walrop, from the Department of Energy’s Atlanta office, is also scheduled to attend.

Bevan R. Smith Jr., Energy Program Manager with the Virgin Islands Energy Office, indicated the VIEO plans to install at least ten photovoltaic systems. The objective is to establish acceptable interconnect codes and standards in the regulation of small power production systems.

The visit is part of a two-week trip to Florida as part of an initiative by the two groups to develop a Distributed Generation Public Policy. The VIEO and VIWAPA also hope to implement an energy education public outreach program and a residential building audits training program in the Virgin Islands as a result of the visit. Tampa Electric Smart Source Renewable Energy program manager Joe Cascio will coordinate the micro-turbine educational session.

The group will meet at TECO Plaza in downtown Tampa at 9 a.m. and will arrive at the Hillsborough County Landfill to study the microturbine from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Next the visitors will get a tour of the photovoltaic (PV) array at the University of South Florida from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will conclude their tour at Tampa Electric’s PV array at the Museum of Science and Industry from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m

Tampa Electric’s micro-turbine generator works by turning a portion of the methane gas collected at the Taylor Road and Hillsborough Heights landfill into electricity. The process uses a new type of technology that can produce enough electrical energy to power 13 homes.

Installed on May 2003, “The micro-turbine operates on methane gas, which would otherwise be flared (or burned) and vented to the atmosphere,” Cascio said. “Electric power generated from this system results lowers overall emissions.”

And that’s just the beginning of the project’s benefits, he said. “The generator operates day and night, and with very low maintenance,” he said. “It fits the very definition of renewabl e energy.”

The generator is estimated to have at least ten years of operational potential.

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.

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