Tampa Electric completes new peaking power units

Tampa, Fla., September 10, 2009 – Tampa Electric completed construction of five new 60-MW natural gas-fired peaking units – Bayside Units 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Big Bend Unit 4 – that will provide power during periods of peak customer demand.

Four of the units are at H.L. Culbreath Bayside Power Station in Tampa and one unit is at Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. In addition to peak power generation, the new units also boost Tampa Electric’s reliability with “quick start” and “black start” capabilities.

The five new peaking units each utilize a derivative of Pratt and Whitney’s JT8D jet aircraft engine and are part of a generation project that will provide power to about 65,000 homes.

The just-completed Bayside Units 3 and 4 join Bayside Units 5, 6, completed in April 2009. The remaining unit at Big Bend Power Station, Unit 4, is a simple-cycle dual-fuel (natural gas and ultra-low sulfur fuel oil) peaking unit. All five new peaking units are now in commercial operation.

The new peaking units’ “quick start” capability enables Tampa Electric to bring them from off-line status to full-load generation within 10 minutes. Quick start allows the company a more economical way to maintain operating reserves that are required to respond to system disruptions.

With “black start” capability, the company can start the peaking units with power from a small on-site engine-driven generator. When one of the units is up and running, it can then provide the amount of power needed to start the power station’s larger generating units.

This enables the company to restore the rest of its generating units at the station to service faster than it would be to rely on importing power to its system in the event a hurricane or major storm causes the community’s electric grid to lose power, or go “black.”

The project involved about 400,000 personnel-hours to design, engineer and construct the five units. To deliver power generated by the peaking units, an additional 90,000 personnel-hours of work went toward supporting infrastructure, including the installation of 165 transmission structures, 12 circuit miles of new transmission lines and work at nine substations. The company completed work on the supporting infrastructure in 212 days.

In addition to installing the new peaking units, the company is also installing the last of its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) equipment at Big Bend Power Station to further reduce the plant’s emission levels, part of a more than $1.2 billion 10-year environmental program Tampa Electric began in 1999.

When Tampa Electric completes the $330 million SCR project in 2010, the 1,700-MW Big Bend Station will be one of the cleanest pulverized coal power plants in the country. Of the 25 conventional coal units in Florida, the four at Big Bend Power Station will have the most state-of-the-art environmental control technologies available.

H.L. Culbreath Bayside Power Station, also part of the $1.2 billion environmental program, is an 1,800-MW natural gas-fired power station located on the site of the company’s former coal-fired Gannon Power Station.

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