Tampa Electric to Convert Big Bend Coal Plant

mosaicF4coal In: Tampa Electric to Convert Big Bend Coal Plant | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Tampa’s Big Bend Coal Plant. Photo by the author.

Tampa will soon be rid of a huge coal fueled plant, even though the entire plant will not  be converted to gas.  Read the entire article in the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


 May 25, 2018

Tampa Electric to Convert Big Bend Coal Plant

Tampa Bay Times:

Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.

Five workers died in June 2017 after performing a known-to-be-dangerous maintenance procedure on Unit 2. The incident resulted in a $126,749 fine from federal regulators and a “willful” designation for safety violations found following an investigation. Tampa Electric is currently appealing the designation. According to Tampa Electric spokesperson Cherie Jacobs, the June incident was not the primary reason for closing Unit 2.

Tampa Electric CEO Nancy Tower cited a plan to rely less on coal shortly after she took the helm at the utility at the beginning of the year. The changes at Big Bend dovetail with that strategy.

“Coupled with our significant increase in solar power, these changes will make Tampa Electric substantially cleaner and greener than it is today,” Tower said in a release Thursday. “This investment in cleaner generation will also provide significant savings to customers through lower expenses for fuel and maintenance of the existing units.”

After the revamp, Big Bend will still have two units that operate on coal with natural gas as their secondary source of power, Jacobs said. The natural gas unit will be able to produce 1,090 megawatts.

More: Tampa Electric to Shut Down Big Bend Coal Unit that Killed 5

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