Tampa Electric Company (TECO) will begin converting part of the coal-fired Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach, Fla., to natural gas in January 2021. Once TECO has converted coal-fired Unit 1 to natural gas, TECO’s new operation will reduce the water at the cooling intake tunnels that Tampa Bay Water uses as its seawater source for its Tampa Bay Desalination Plant, located next to the power plant.
Tampa Bay Water will create a new intake connection and extend the current intake to our desalination facility when TECO takes one of its tunnels offline during its conversion.
At its August meeting, the Tampa Bay Water Board of Directors awarded Wharton-Smith Inc. the contract for Phase 1 of this project, which provides for a new intake connection during the shutdown. Wharton-Smith was selected through a competitive bid process. The contract for design-build services is $1.726 million, and is allocated from Tampa Bay Water’s Capital Improvement Fund.
Learn more about how the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant works.