HOUSTON Dec 12 The Florida Public Service
Commission on Wednesday approved a plan by TECO Energy's
Tampa utility to convert four natural gas-fired units into a
combined-cycle plant, boosting output by about 460 megawatts, or
enough electricity to serve about 100,000 homes, the regulator
The $700 million plan will add a heat recovery system and a
steam turbine to convert four gas units totaling 680 MW at the
Polk Power Station into a plant able to generate 1,195 MW in the
winter and 1,063 MW in the summer, a TECO spokeswoman said.
The Polk project "will save fuel, lower emissions, and use
treated wastewater for cooling - improvements that are good for
customers and the environment," said Florida PSC Chairman Ronald
Brise in a statement.
The project, which also needs approval from the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection, is scheduled to be
completed in early 2017.
After evaluating competitive bids earlier this year, Tampa
Electric said the Polk Station conversion project would be the
most cost-effective way to supply additional power the utility
will need in five years.