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Tampa Electric named Edison winner, electric industry’s most coveted honor

Polk Power Station’s regional reclaimed water project recognized for its far-reaching benefits

NEW ORLEANS, LA., June 8, 2015

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today named Tampa Electric Co. as the winner of the 2015 Edison Award, the electric industry’s most prestigious honor. The award was given for Tampa Electric’s innovative partnership to create a reclaimed water project at its Polk Power Station, near Mulberry.

The 88th annual Edison Award, recognizing distinguished leadership, innovation and progress in advancing the electric power industry, was presented today during the EEI Annual Convention in New Orleans. A panel of former electric utility company chief executives selected the winner from among three domestic finalists.

“Tampa Electric demonstrated tremendous ingenuity by designing and building an innovative wastewater treatment system that protects the local environment while streamlining operations,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The company also exhibited distinguished leadership by forging important regional partnerships to address the needs of all stakeholders.”

The project will allow Tampa Electric to collect reclaimed water from the city of Lakeland, treat it and use it for cooling water at the Polk Power Station – and it will provide significant environmental benefits for generations to come.

“This public-private partnership is on the leading edge of innovative water use,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “ This project is a win for the community, a win for the environment and a win for the customers we’re proud to serve with affordable and reliable electricity.”

The project includes a reclaimed-water pumping station and 15-mile pipeline between the city of Lakeland's wetland treatment system, east of Mulberry, and Tampa Electric's Polk Power Station. It also includes a water-treatment system and two deep-injection wells – more than 1.5 miles underground – on Polk Power Station property.

This project will:

  • Minimize any future withdrawals of groundwater to cool Polk Power Station.
  • Clean up Tampa Bay by diverting treated wastewater previously discharged by the city of Lakeland. This will remove nitrogen from the water of Hillsborough and Tampa bays, which will help improve the sea grasses and populations of small fish, crabs and oysters.
  • Will include wastewater from Polk County and the city of Mulberry in a future phase, scheduled for completion in 2017.

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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