Anyone who knows this industry knows challenges are constant. Great ideas that surmount challenges – especially those that benefit the community, the environment and our customers – are things to cherish. Another thing people across our industry know is the Edison Electric Institute, which represents Tampa Electric and all U.S. investor-owned electric companies.
And I’m proud to say that with its top award for 2015, the Edison Award, the EEI has recognized a great idea at TECO: The Polk Power Station Regional Reclaimed Water Project.
In this video, you can see what makes the project so deserving of the Edison Award: it prevents reclaimed water from Lakeland, Mulberry and Polk County from going into local waterways, where it would add nitrogen to the environment that harms marine life. Instead, that water now goes to Polk Power Station, where it is cleaned and added to the process of generating reliable, affordable electricity for our customers.
This project started with several questions. It involved growth, professionally for those who worked on the project over several years – led by Tom Hernandez, vice president of Energy Supply – and for TECO overall as we strengthened our relationships with community partners in Polk County as well as the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
The Polk Power Station Regional Reclaimed Water Project is the essence of what TECO’s dedication to the environment and stakeholders of all kinds is about. It’s a testament to the great things that the team members here can do. It’s an idea that utilities across the United States can implement to benefit other communities. And it’s an honor I’m so proud to share.
– John Ramil, TECO Energy President and CEO