KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 10, 2007 – Former Kissimmee Utility Authority vice president of power supply Abani K. “Ben” Sharma helped unveil a dedication plaque Monday for an electric generating unit named in his honor.
About 50 people, including representatives from the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Florida Municipal Power Agency and Florida Gas Utility, were on hand for the ceremony dedicating Ben Sharma Unit 1 at KUA’s Cane Island Power Park.
Sharma retired from KUA on March 31 after 17 years of service. The name designation was formally approved by the utility’s board of directors on April 4.
“Ben Sharma’s contributions to KUA have been numerous, important and enduring,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “This is a lasting way for us to recognize his leadership and a fitting tribute to his many years of service to our utility.”
Sharma, 67, spent much of his career in Florida and Georgia, serving as an electrical engineer for Southern Engineering Company of Georgia and planning superintendent for the city of Tallahassee’s electric department before joining KUA in 1989.
Sharma directed the design and construction of the $263 million Cane Island Power Park and held responsibility for its operation and maintenance.
The Ben Sharma Unit 1 is a 40-megawatt simple cycle turbine generator manufactured by General Electric. The unit began commercial operation on January 1, 1995.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent