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Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric’s transmission structures

TAMPA, November 6, 2014

Area residents need not be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters hovering around Tampa Electric transmission poles and towers in the next month. It’s part of the company’s ongoing inspection of transmission equipment.

The work will begin at 8 a.m. Monday and continue weekdays, excluding Thanksgiving, for about four weeks during daylight hours. A low-flying helicopter will hover for a short time about 150 to 300 feet above the ground near each structure as workers visually inspect equipment. These inspections are expected to be complete by early December, weather permitting.

The company plans to start the project in the West Tampa, Westchase and Carrollwood areas. In coming days, the surveys will reach Riverview, Ft. Lonesome, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Plant City, Mulberry, Winter Haven and Brandon areas. Haverfield Aviation, of Gettysburg, Pa., will conduct the inspections.

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 , one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves more than 700,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utilities in Florida and New Mexico, including Tampa Electric , Peoples Gas System and New Mexico Gas Co . Other TECO Energy subsidiaries include TECO Coal , which owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

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