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Tampa Electric signs contract to purchase solar photovoltaic energy

Pending regulatory approval, Tampa Electric will purchase the entire electrical output from a proposed Energy 5.0 LLC solar photovoltaic (PV) facility.

TAMPA, March 9, 2009

Tampa Electric today announced that it has signed a contract to purchase solar power supplied by Energy 5.0’s Florida Solar I facility, a proposed 25-megawatt (MW) solar PV electric generating station, for a 25-year period beginning in 2011.

Today, Tampa Electric filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission for approval to purchase the energy generated by the solar facility. The solar energy contract was awarded to Energy 5.0, the successful bidder in Tampa Electric’s 2007 Renewable Generation Request for Proposals.

"I applaud TECO and Energy 5.0 on this exciting partnership that moves Florida closer to our goal of increasing energy diversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Governor Charlie Crist. "Two years ago, I challenged Florida to find the ‘gold in green,’ and we continue to see companies investing in innovative solutions that promote the use of renewable energy while saving money for consumers."

Tampa Electric President Chuck Black said, "We are committed to pursuing our state’s goal of developing and supporting Florida renewable energy sources that will benefit our customers and are in the best interest of all Floridians. This cutting edge project will be important in meeting current and future state renewable energy objectives."

Over its 25-year proposed contract term, the project is expected to avoid the emission of up to 1.45 million tons of carbon dioxide when compared to a natural gas-fired peaking combustion turbine. The contract will also:

  • promote the state's goal of encouraging the production of renewable energy produced by renewable energy generating facilities in Florida.
  • reduce Florida's dependence on natural gas and fuel oil for electricity production.
  • provide the basis for significant new investment, economic development and job creation in Polk County and in the state.
  • reduce environmental impacts associated with electricity generation.
  • protect the company and its customers from technical and operational risks through its energy-only, fixed pricing.
  • provide fuel diversity benefits.

Energy 5.0, a Florida-based company with extensive experience and success in the development, financing and operation of renewable energy projects, will build the 25-MW facility on a proposed 200 to 400 acre site in Polk County. The facility will be one of the largest solar PV facilities in the nation.

The project will consist of silicon-based PV panels that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. The 25-MW facility is expected to produce more than 48,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough output to serve the electric energy needs of more than 3,400 homes. The average home in Tampa Electric’s service territory uses about 14,000 kWh per year.

"As our company’s flagship solar power project, this undertaking will be a showcase for zero-emission renewable power in the Southeast," said Energy 5.0 Chairman Bud Cherry. "Assuming approval by the Florida Public Service Commission this spring, deliveries from the Florida Solar I Project could begin in the first half of 2011."

Tampa Electric Companyis the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Tampa Electric Company is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in coal, and electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.

Energy 5.0 LLC
Energy 5.0 LLC, headquartered in West Palm Beach, is a privately held, well-capitalized, Florida-based company. Founded by energy professionals with over 80 years of industry experience, Energy 5.0 applies creative and reliable solutions to create value in energy ventures. Energy 5.0 is committed to excellence in the delivery of clean renewable energy.

Energy 5.0’s principals have over 40 years of experience in renewable energy power project development and renewable technology application utilizing cogeneration, geothermal, solar and wind technology. Energy 5.0 knows how to design, build and operate successful renewable energy projects. Energy 5.0 has assembled a team of recognized solar industry players and Florida professionals to undertake the Florida Solar I Project. Drawing on its own experience and this network of qualified professionals, the Energy 5.0 team will use its talent and state of the art technology to deliver a project with lasting beneficial impact.

For more information on Energy 5.0 LLC and its principals, visit www.energy5-0.com.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com Email Icon