Tampa will not renew waste to energy deal with TECO

04/01/10 Seán Kinane
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Tampa burns some of its garbage at the McKay Bay Refuse-to-Energy plant to create power. Some of that energy is used to run the plant; the city sells the excess to Tampa Electric.

This morning, Tampa City Council voted unanimously to terminate that agreement with TECO when the current contract expires in August 2011. But City Attorney Chip Fletcher warns Tampa might take a hit to revenue, and TECO rates won’t be affected.

Tampa will try to sell the extra energy to other companies. But city council member Charlie Miranda reminded his colleagues that Tampa will still pay TECO for transmitting the energy, through what’s called “wheeling.”

City Attorney Fletcher confirmed that TECO would profit from any deals for energy transmission Tampa makes with other energy companies. Last year, the city was working on an agreement to sell the excess electricity to TECO for a better rate. But last September, the state’s Public Service Commission rejected the deal.

“The Public Service Commission’s reaction, I believe, is that it was too good a deal for the city.”

Council member Miranda is not convinced there will be takers for the extra electricity, and says it may go to waste.

Miranda ultimately supported the motion because, he said, there were no other options.

Previous WMNF coverage of the McKay Bay Refuse-to-Energy plant: Tampa-TECO negotiations still ongoing

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