Big Bend Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Big Bend Station is an operating power station of at least 1789-megawatts (MW) in Apollo Beach, Hillsborough, Florida, United States with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Big Bend Station Apollo Beach, Hillsborough, Florida, United States 27.7944, -82.4036 (exact)[1][2]

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit CC1, Unit GT4: 27.7944, -82.4036
  • Unit 3, Unit 2, Unit 4, Unit 1: 27.794344, -82.403206

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit CC1 operating[3] gas[4] 1241[3] combined cycle[4] no[4] 2023[4]
Unit GT4 operating[3] gas, fuel oil[4] 62[3] gas turbine[1] no[1] 2009[1]
Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 445.5 subcritical 1976 2023
Unit 2 retired coal - bituminous 445.5 subcritical 1973 2021
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 486 subcritical 1985
Unit 1 retired coal - bituminous 445.5 subcritical 1970 2023

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Unit CC1 Tampa Electric Company[4] Emera Incorporated [100.0%]
Unit GT4 Tampa Electric Company[5] Emera Incorporated [100.0%]
Unit 3 Tampa Electric Co [100.0%]
Unit 2 Tampa Electric Co [100.0%]
Unit 4 Tampa Electric Co [100.0%]
Unit 1 Tampa Electric Co [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Dotiki Mine


In 2018, TECO Energy announced plans to repower its Big Bend Unit 1 with a natural gas-fired combined-cycle unit by 2023, and to retire its Big Bend Unit 2 in 2021.[6] Unit 2 was retired by TECO.[7] In 2023, Big Bend Unit 1 was repowered with state-of-the-art combined-cycle technology that eliminated coal as its fuel. The modernized unit can produce 1,090 MW, or enough energy to power more than 250,000 homes. Unit 4 remains in operation with coal or natural gas.[8]

Unit 2 retired in 2021.[7] As of January 2021, Unit 3 was scheduled for retirement in 2023.[6][9]

Unit 1 was scheduled to switch to natural gas before 2023.[6]

In April 2023, Unit 1 no longer fired coal, and Unit 3 was retired.[10]

Coal source

As of July 2020, the power station fired coal from the Prairie Eagle Underground Mine (Knighthawk) and the Sugar Camp Mine (Forsight Coal).[11]


The plant has two hydrogen capable gas turbines (GE 7HA.02) capable of burning 15-20% hydrogen and moving to 100% hydrogen by 2032 has been proposed.[12]


On June 29, 2017, molten slag from a coal boiler killed 5 and injured 1.[13]

In August 2022, Tampa Electric Company was sentenced to the maximum allowable penalty: a $500,000 fine and three years probation. The company pleaded guilty to “willfully violating” OSHA standards.[14]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 11,760,766 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 13,977 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 30,714 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 137 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Big Bend Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[15] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Big Bend Station. Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[16]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Big Bend Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 17 $120,000,000
Heart attacks 23 $2,500,000
Asthma attacks 240 $12,000
Hospital admissions 13 $290,000
Chronic bronchitis 9 $4,200,000
Asthma ER visits 14 $5,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Pilot CCS program

On July 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it had partnered with Siemens for a pilot carbon capture and storage project at the plant.[17]

Coal Waste Site

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (November 2019)". Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  2. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (April 2022)". Archived from the original on July 12, 2022. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (May 2023)". Archived from the original on September 18, 2023. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (July 2021)". Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  5. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860 detailed data with previous form data (EIA-860A/860B), 2018". Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Big Bend Modernization," TECO, accessed June 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Tampa Electric’s Coal-to-Gas transition takes next step" Power Engineering, April 8, 2022
  8. "Big Bend Power Station". TECO. Retrieved June 6, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Tampa Electric to close 445MW Unit 3 at Big Bend coal plant in 2023, 18 years early", January 22, 2021
  10. "Tampa Electric To Dismantle Two Chimneys At Big Bend Power Plant" Osprey Observer, April 11, 2023
  11. "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  12. "GE Supports Tampa Electric Company's Coal-To-Gas Transition at Big Bend Power Plant in Florida, reducing CO2 emissions by ~ 67% | GE News". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  13. McGrory, Kathleen (2017-12-28). "OSHA: Tampa Electric ignored its own rules in accident that killed 5 workers". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  14. "TECO gets $500,000 fine, probation in 2017 explosion that killed 5 in Tampa Bay," Tampa Bay Times, August 19, 2022
  15. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  16. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  17. "Tampa Electric to Participate in Two U.S. Department of Energy Funded Demonstration Projects Designed to Advance Carbon Dioxide Capture Technologies", July 26, 2010.

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.