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A new era in energy production for Tampa Electric; first utility to commit to U.S. EPA and Florida DEP clean-up launches Bayside Power Station

TAMPA, May 1, 2003

With Florida's electric demand projected to grow by approximately 1,000 megawatts annually, Tampa Electric Company, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc., today announced the launch of Bayside Power Station Unit 1.

Now generating almost 750 megawatts of electricity from clean burning, efficient natural gas, Unit 1 is the first of two planned units. Unit 2, rated for approximately 1,000 megawatts, is planned to begin commercial service in January 2004.

These new units, fueled with natural gas, will be called Bayside Units 1 and 2. The plant's 1,750 megawatts is enough electricity to serve 875,000 homes, and will help meet customer energy needs for the next 20 years.

“This is a great step in fulfilling our commitment to making our system one of the cleanest in the country while providing reliable, affordable electricity to our customers," said Tampa Electric President John Ramil.

TECO Energy Chairman and CEO Robert D. Fagan said, "This new facility goes a long way toward modernization of our generating fleet and is part of our focus on our growing utility operations."

Tampa Electric first announced plans in 1999 to repower the 1,200-megawatt Gannon Power Station by converting from coal to natural gas.

Four Year Head Start

Recently, major utilities in Wisconsin and Virginia announced agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions. In 1999 Tampa Electric became the first U.S. power company to reach such an agreement with EPA as well as with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. At that time the company embarked on its 10-year, $1 billion plan to dramatically decrease overall emissions from the company’s power plants. While the centerpiece of the plan is Bayside Power Station, early emissions reductions have been realized due to changes at our other facilities, with more scheduled to come.

Emission reports show sulfur dioxide emissions from Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station decreased by approximately 80 percent between 1999 and 2001. To accomplish these reductions Big Bend Power Station utilizes a modern flue gas desulfurization or “scrubber” system.

By using natural gas at the new Bayside Power Station along with high efficiency, state-of-the-art emissions controls at our other coal-fired plants, Tampa Electric will further significantly reduce emissions. Repowering with natural gas will reduce Bayside's nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 97 percent each and particulate matter emissions by 2005 by more than 88 percent from 1998 levels.

The Bayside project integrates seven new combustion turbines and seven heat recovery steam generators with two of the Gannon plants' existing steam turbines to reliably and cost-effectively produce 1,750 megawatts of clean power.

The decision to reconfigure and repower Gannon Station and switch to natural gas was based on several factors, including:

  • Strong customer growth resulting in greater demand for reliable electricity;
  • Ability to meet more stringent environmental compliance regulations;
  • Cost-effective use of plant infrastructure, existing substations and transmission facilities;
  • Availability of natural gas from area pipelines;
  • Enhanced fuels diversity;
  • Establishing certainty for future generation planning and environmental compliance.

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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