As part of Tampa Electric’s Storm Hardening Plan filed with the Florida Public Service Commission, the company will initiate a pilot project designed to test the electric system’s ability to withstand extreme winds at the Port of Tampa. The Port was selected because it is a facility that is critical to people both in and beyond the communities served by Tampa Electric.

The pilot project involves upgrading electrical transmission and distribution equipment to the National Electrical Safety Code extreme wind construction grade by replacing approximately 60 existing poles and several switches with equipment designed to withstand an equivalent wind speed of 135 mph.

The Port of Tampa is the largest port in Florida in both cargo tonnage (approximately 50 million tons annually) as well as acreage (more than 5,000). As the 16th largest port in the United States, it is the point of entry for nearly all of the petroleum used in central and west Florida. Many other important items used daily by Tampa Bay area residents come through the port, making it critical that it receives reliable electricity.

The Port of Tampa work will be constructed in three phases. Phase one work is scheduled to be complete by December 2008.