Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted to conduct a hearing to determine if Tampa Electric Company (TECO) should be allowed to recover costs for construction of five new generating turbines and improvements to its Big Bend Station rail facility.
The hearing will address (1) whether the rail facility is completed and in commercial operation by December 31, 2009, as required by the Final Order and Order on Reconsideration, and (2) whether the five new turbines continue to be needed for load generation. Also to be addressed during the hearing is whether the verified project costs were prudently incurred.
Pending the outcome of the hearing, the PSC approved initial recovery of more than $25.7 million beginning January 1, 2010, subject to refund with interest. This reflects an $8.2 million reduction from the projected construction costs approved in the Commission’s earlier Order. The reduced amount was based on the actual construction costs for the turbines, as determined by PSC audit staff.
Each of the five new natural gas combustion turbines generates 60 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which together will provide 300 MW of additional power. The addition of a new rail unloading facility at the Big Bend Station will facilitate movement of fuel supplies to TECO’s coal-fired generating units.
TECO serves about 600,000 residential customers. Its West Central Florida service area covers 2,000 square miles, including all of Hillsborough County and parts of Polk, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.