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Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric's transmission lines

TAMPA, November 30, 2015

Area residents need not be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters hovering around Tampa Electric transmission lines this week. It's part of the company's ongoing inspection of transmission equipment.

Work will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday and continue for about a week during daylight hours. Work also may occur on weekends. Crews will survey Tampa Electric's entire system of high-voltage transmission lines.

A low-flying helicopter will hover for a short time about 30 to 40 feet above the lines as workers inspect equipment using infrared technology. The inspections are expected to be complete in early December, weather permitting.

The company plans to start the project in Polk County, and continue into Tampa, Dade City, Ruskin and Riverview areas in coming days. Haverfield Aviation, of Gettysburg, Pa., and Hot/Shot Infrared Inspections Inc., of Golden, Colo., 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 715,000 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.

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