Awards continue to pour in for Tampa Electric’s Polk Power Station Regional Reclaimed Water Partnership. Already the recipient of the utility industry’s highest honor for 2015 – the Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute – the project that uses reclaimed water from the cities of Lakeland and Mulberry and Polk County has earned praise from two more high-profile organizations.
On Aug. 1, POWER magazine announced Tampa Electric and the Polk Power Station as the winner of its 2015 Water Award. POWER, which focuses on “business and technology for the global generation industry,” praised the project by stating, “It’s not often that a power plant upgrade improves both the environment and the bottom line … Tampa Electric came up with a solution that both secured the plant’s water supply for the future and provided significant benefits to the local environment.”
Some of you may recall that POWER also recognized Tampa Electric with the 1986 Environmental Protection award for our work on the Big Bend Unit 4 scrubber – we were the first utility in the nation to operate a scrubber, designed to remove sulfur dioxide from boiler emissions that also produced a commercial-grade gypsum byproduct that could be used for cement and wallboard.
We’re environmental leaders again by diverting reclaimed water to the Polk Power Station. – where instead of adding harmful nitrogen to local waterways, it’s part of the process to generate reliable, affordable electricity for Tampa Electric customers – the project is a showcase of innovation and benefits for the community.
That recent POWER honor follows another from the Tampa Bay Partnership, where we are a leadership member. A regional organization that markets the Tampa Bay area nationally and internationally, the partnership coordinates efforts among its member organizations to positively impact economic growth and development.
At the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business on July 24, the partnership’s board of directors presented its Chair’s Cup for Excellence in Regional Leadership to TECO Energy President and CEO John Ramil, who chairs the partnership’s Board of Governors, and Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. In the partnership’s words, the annual Chair’s Cup goes to “recipients who exemplify excellence in regional leadership and have made a significant impact on the economic development of Tampa Bay.”
Also this month, Sustainable Florida announced that the Polk Power Station water project was a finalist for its 2015 Best Practice Awards in the Leadership and Partnership categories. Tampa Electric previously won for its Renewable Energy partnership with Legoland Florida. Sustainable Florida will announce this year’s winners in October.