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News Release

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

TAMPA, May 1, 2015

They’re baaaaack.

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 to ensure the delivery of reliable power. This inspection follows a different patrol that ended about two weeks ago.

The inspections will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, and continue for about four weeks during daylight hours. Crews will survey about 3,200 transmission structures, approximately 20 percent of the system.

A low-flying helicopter will hover for a short time about 150 to 300 feet above the ground near each structure. We anticipate completing this group of inspections by May 27, weather permitting. Haverfield Aviation, of Gettysburg, Pa., will conduct the inspections.

The company plans to start the project in the Temple Terrace, Dover and Plant City areas. In coming weeks, the surveys will reach Carrollwood, north Tampa, Odessa, Port of Tampa, West Tampa, Ybor City, Town ‘N Country, Tampa Palms, FishHawk Ranch, Auburndale, Mulberry, southeast Lakeland, Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Lithia areas.

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.

These 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: 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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