Tampa Electric Company repowered its 1970s-era, coal-fired Big Bend Unit 1 with a nominal 1,090 megawatt (MW) advanced, natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating unit as part of its Big Bend Modernization Project. At the same time, it retired the existing Big Bend Unit 2 coal-fired facility.
ECT assisted with the environmental licensing and permitting preparation of a site certification application (SCA), as well as air construction, environmental resource (ERP), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredge-and-fill permit applications. The SCA was prepared pursuant to the requirements and procedures of the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA). Efforts included multidisciplinary data collections and analysis for air quality, ecological resources, surface water and groundwater resources, and land use (socioeconomics). Site-specific surveys were conducted for jurisdictional wetlands and threatened and endangered (T/E) species.
ECT conducted air emissions netting analyses based on future potential emissions for the new combined-cycle unit compared to past emissions for the repowered and retired coal-fired units. The analyses showed the net emissions changes were less than the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) significant emissions rates for all criteria pollutants and not subject to PSD review.
For NPDES permitting, ECT conducted cooling water intake and discharge evaluations under Clean Water Act Section 316(a) and (b) requirements. Also, ECT conducted a detailed analysis of thermal discharges, and utilized aerial drones to monitor protected manatees distribution within the discharge canal during the winter months of the project.