Coal's Clean Comeback

by Donald E. Pless, Tampa Electric Co. Power Services Corp., Tampa, FL,
Stephen D. Jenkins, Tampa Electric Co. Energy, Inc., Tampa, FL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 9, Pg. 46-49

Document Type: Feature article


At Tampa's new power station, engineers from the power plant industry meet those from the chemical industry to construct an environmentally safe way to use low-cost coal. Further experimental technologies at the plant could make this one of the most efficient power generation technologies available. When Polk Power Station, Mulberry, Fla., goes into operation this fall, it will be capable of producing 250 MW of electricity, enough to power some 56,000 homes. While this is the project's main purpose, the remarkable feature of the $506 million power station is that it will be the first utility-owned facility in the U.S. to employ both coal gasification—a mainstay of chemical production—and combined-cycle power-plant technology, which has long been used to produce electricity from natural gas. As a result of integrating these two technologies, Polk will be one of the world's cleanest and most efficient power plants. The Tampa Electric Company's project was originally conceived in 1989 to respond to the program opportunity notice for the Department of Energy's clean coal technology program.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Electric power | Coal | Non-renewable energy | Chemicals | Project management | Industrial facilities | Environmental issues | Tampa | Florida | United States

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