Tampa Electric seeks to change ignition fuel at Big Bend
TAMPA, February 17, 2014
Tampa Electric wants to change the ignition fuel at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas from oil – which would have significant environmental benefits and cost savings for all customers.
Coal-fired Big Bend units 1 through 4 currently use about 30,000 barrels of light oil every year to start the boilers. By converting the ignition fuel to natural gas, Tampa Electric would:
- Save customers $76 million in fuel costs over the life of the units
- Eliminate the use of 30,000 barrels of light oil at the plant
- Reduce its dependence on foreign oil
- Reduce emissions as a result of burning a cleaner fuel
"This project would benefit Tampa Electric customers in multiple ways – by reducing fuel costs and improving environmental performance," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. "This is yet another example of our environmental leadership."
Tampa Electric has asked the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve the $21 million project. The PSC is expected to decide the issue this summer.
If approved, the project is expected to be completed and placed in service during scheduled maintenance outages at the plant, between March 2015 and November 2015.
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.