Big Bend Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Big Bend Station is a 1,822.5-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by TECO Energy near Apollo Beach, Florida.


The plant is located across Tampa Bay from Tampa, Florida on nearly 1,500 acres (6 km2) in southeastern Hillsborough County, close to Apollo Beach.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Tampa Electric Company
  • Parent Company: TECO Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,822.5 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 445.5 MW (1970), Unit 2: 445.5 MW (1973), Unit 3: 445.5 MW (1976), Unit 4: 486.0 MW (1985)
  • Location: 13031 Wyandotte Rd., Apollo Beach, FL 33572
  • GPS Coordinates: 27.795301, -82.403358
  • Technology: Supercritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Prairie Eagle Underground Mine (Knighthawk), Sugar Camp Mine (Forsight Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Conversions: Unit 1 is scheduled to switch to natural gas before 2023.[2]
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 2 retired in 2021.[3] Unit 3 is scheduled for retirement in 2023[2][4]


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.[2] Unit 2 was retired by TECO.[3]


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.[5]


On June 29, 2017, molten slag from a coal boiler killed 5 and injured 1.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

Coal Waste Site

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources

  1. "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Big Bend Modernization," TECO, accessed June 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Tampa Electric’s Coal-to-Gas transition takes next step" Power Engineering, April 8, 2022
  4. "Tampa Electric to close 445MW Unit 3 at Big Bend coal plant in 2023, 18 years early", January 22, 2021
  5. "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.
  6. 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.
  7. "TECO gets $500,000 fine, probation in 2017 explosion that killed 5 in Tampa Bay," Tampa Bay Times, August 19, 2022
  8. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  9. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  10. "Tampa Electric to Participate in Two U.S. Department of Energy Funded Demonstration Projects Designed to Advance Carbon Dioxide Capture Technologies", July 26, 2010.


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