Tampa Electric and Florida solar energy center to install solar system at Centennial Middle School in Pasco County
Students will be able to learn firsthand about renewable energy and energy efficiency
TAMPA, October 6, 2011
Tampa Electric announced today it has joined with the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, to install a 10-kilowatt solar array at Centennial Middle School in Pasco County. The school, which serves more than 650 students in the Dade City area, was selected as part of FSEC’s SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter Program.
The installation of this system is part of a $1.5 million investment Tampa Electric will make each year over the next five years to help its customers install renewable technologies. The solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Centennial Middle School is the first system to be installed under this new program. This summer, Tampa Electric made available $1 million in rebates to assist customers with the installation of PV systems at their homes or businesses.
Once complete in November 2011, the PV system will supply power to the school during normal operation, but it also can operate using backup batteries that will be included. If the school loses power due to a storm or other occurrence, the PV system will automatically turn on and supply power to the school building’s critical needs, such as lights.
“Tampa Electric is proud to have the opportunity to expand our solar initiative to the Dade City community,” said Bruce Narzissenfeld, vice president of Marketing, Customer Service, Business Development and Fuels Operations with Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. “Our customers will benefit from our investments in renewable energy, and Centennial students will learn about the benefits of sustainability.”
FSEC will collect data from the PV system and display it online for students to use in the classroom. Students will gain a basic understanding of how solar systems work, improve their skills in science and mathematics, and learn the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Since 1999, Tampa Electric has installed more than 80 kilowatts of solar arrays in the Tampa Bay area, including at schools, the Lowry Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry. The energy generated by these PV systems helps to serve customers who participate in Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program and reduces the need for energy from non-renewable sources.
Tampa Electric offers a Renewable Energy program that makes it easy for customers to purchase a portion of their electricity from renewable sources by signing up for $5 blocks of renewable energy. For each block purchased, Tampa Electric will distribute 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System. Tampa Electric serves more than 672,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.