Tampa Electric is schedule to make its case Wednesday to state regulators for a proposal to double the output of the utility's Polk County power station.
The $700 million expansion of the Polk County plant on State Road 37 also would allow Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, to phase out some of its purchase power agreements since the utility will have capacity to produce the power itself.
The expanded operation would convert four existing simple-cycle natural gas units to a more efficient combined-cycle unit. Tampa Electric expects the expanded operation to begin producing power by January 2017.
The plant's current capacity includes 680 megawatts of natural gas and 260 megawatts of coal. The expansion would add 460 megawatts to the natural gas portion of the Polk plant.
Members of the state Public Service Commission must approve the project for Tampa Electric to recover the costs of the expansion from its customers.
Wednesday's hearing gives the public an opportunity to comment for or against the need for the added power.