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US Sec. of Energy Granholm joins Mayor Castor to announce water turbine project

Castor said two turbines on the Hillsborough Dam could create enough energy each day to power 75 homes.

TAMPA, Fla — US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited Tampa on Thursday morning to discuss plans for Tampa's renewable energy future.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor joined Granholm for a tour of the Hillsborough River Dam and a transportation research, education and technology training center, according to a press release.

Mayor Castor explained that Tampa is taking a number of steps to ensure that "our city is sustainable as far as climate change is concerned." One of those steps is a hydroelectric power project.

According to Castor, the city has plans to install two turbines on the Hillsborough River Dam to generate energy from the water flow. Each day, the turbines will create power equivalent to the amount needed to power 75 homes, she added.

Castor said the clean energy will be used to offset the electricity used by the city's water and wastewater treatment, which are two of the biggest energy users in Tampa.

Granholm showed support for the project and highlighted the ability of clean energy infrastructure to lower costs for Americans. 

"Clean power, renewable power — which hydroelectric power is — is the cheapest form of power," the secretary said. “And we want to reduce costs for everyday citizens, particularly at this moment when the price of fuel…is so high."

The Florida Department of Energy says Granholm's travels to the Tampa area will further its "commitment to being a catalyst of clean energy technology breakthroughs."

When asked about how President Biden aims to decrease gas prices, Granholm said the administration is using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which it stated last month puts more than one million barrels per day on the market over the next six months.

She said the president is also calling on both domestic producers and global partners to increase production. 

Granholm said the U.S. ban on Russian oil in protest of its war on Ukraine and COVID-19 are to blame for the rise in prices.

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