Tampa Electric to Convert Big Bend Coal Plant

first_imgTampa Electric to Convert Big Bend Coal Plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tampa Bay Times:The parent company of Tampa Electric plans to seek regulatory approval to convert its Big Bend power plant, the site of an industrial accident that killed five workers last year, from coal to natural gas, a top executive said Friday.If approved, the full conversion would cost an estimated $1 billion and could take a decade to complete, said Rob Bennett, who led the integration of TECO Energy with Emera after the Canadian company bought TECO in 2016.The four coal-fired units at the Big Bend Power Station are the oldest in Tampa Electric’s fleet, dating back to the 1970s and ‘80s.Three of the four are known as “wet-bottom boilers;” they use water to cool a molten byproduct of burning coal known as slag. That technology is being phased out nationwide, and by 2015 only about 30 of the nation’s roughly 800 main electric utilities still had them. Tampa Electric’s wet-bottom boilers are the only ones left in Florida, according to the Energy Information Administration.Bennett said two of the four units would be converted in the next couple of years to what are known as combined cycle natural gas generators, which burn natural gas to generate electricity, then use the waste heat from that initial combustion to generate more power. The other two existing coal-fired units, which are newer than the first two, would be converted to natural gas over the next five to 10 years, said Bennett, who last month was appointed CEO of a new company, Emera Technologies, created to seek business opportunities and develop technology related to energy transformation.Big Bend wouldn’t be the first Tampa Electric plant where coal has been phased out. The company replaced the coal-fired Gannon Power Station with the natural-gas powered H.L. Culbreath Bayside Power Station in 2003. A third plant, Polk Power Station, uses a combination of coal and gas.More: Tampa Electric To Convert Big Bend Coal Plant To Natural Gaslast_img

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