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Specialized helicopter crews to perform work beginning this weekend

Low-flying helicopters also will inspect Tampa Electric system next week

TAMPA, October 17, 2013

Starting this weekend, specialized helicopter crews will make reliability improvements and perform routine inspections on Tampa Electric’s power lines.

As part of reliability improvements to meet stricter federal standards, Tampa Electric is raising the height of a power line crossing railroad tracks in Carrollwood, west of Whispering Wind Avenue and south of Linebaugh Avenue . Because the two poles are difficult to access by ground, the work must be done by helicopter. The steel poles will remain at their current height.

Haverfield Aviation, of Gettysburg, Pa., will perform the work Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, with most activity between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. The helicopter will make several short trips between the work sites and the landing zone on Merchants Center Drive.

Beginning Monday, Haverfield will use infrared technology to inspect all of Tampa Electric’s high-voltage transmission lines. A low-flying helicopter will hover about 10 to 20 feet above each transmission structure for a short time. Work will begin at 8 a.m. and continue during daylight hours on weekdays. These inspections are expected to be completed by Oct. 28, weather permitting.

The inspections are taking place along Tampa Electric’s urban and rural rights of way. Some inspections will take place within view of area roads and neighborhoods. Local law enforcement officials will be notified of the inspections.

The inspections are part of the company’s routine transmission maintenance.

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves more than 687,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.

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