Tampa Electric unveils revolutionary renewable power source at commencement ceremony
TAMPA, March 25, 2003
Tampa Electric Company’s revolutionary new microturbine generator, which produces electricity from landfill gas that would otherwise be flared into the atmosphere, makes its public debut Thursday, March 27th at approximately 1:00 p.m. in a commencement ceremony at the Hillsborough Heights Landfill in Tampa (Exit 10 off I-4; go north for approximately 1/4 mile to the landfill entrance on the right side of Mango Road/CR 579).
The ceremony for the generator’s public debut will bring together community leaders as well as representatives of the projects contributors: Capstone Turbine Corporation, SCS Engineers, the U.S. Department of Energy, Hillsborough County’s Landfill Services, the Florida Energy Office (Florida Department of Community Affairs), Tampa Electric Company and the University of South Florida College of Engineering.
The 30-kilowatt microturbine generator works by turning a portion of the methane gas collected at the Taylor Road and Hillsborough Heights landfill into enough electrical energy to power 13 homes.
“We are turning a source of pollution into a source of clean, renewable power. Noxious greenhouse gases from landfills are usually just burned off. But Tampa Electric is now piping those gases into a new-technology microturbine,” said Joe Cascio, who heads Tampa Electric’s Smart Source Renewable EnergySM program.
The Capstone microturbine destroys the gases and their odors more effectively than flaring, and creates grid-quality power as a byproduct. This is the first installation in Florida of a Capstone microturbine to operate exclusively on landfill gas.
"The Capstone microturbine exhaust has much lower pollutant levels than standard flaring," said Cascio. "Perhaps someday, microturbines like this will be creating clean power at hundreds more landfills around the country."
The commencement ceremony is just the latest in a string of publicity the microturbine has received since its initial development. Last year a group of energy experts and engineers from Macedonia traveled to Tampa to study the microturbine for its possible use in their country.
Smart Source Renewable EnergySM, Tampa Electric Company’s renewable energy program, researches and promotes alternative fuel with the help of subscriptions from residential and commercial customers. In addition to the microturbine, it generates renewable power using solar energy and biomass, or plant clippings that offset the use of coal in electricity production.
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.