Jewett School of the Arts receives free solar array from Tampa Electric
Tampa Electric and Florida Solar Energy Center installed solar PV system at Winter Haven school
TAMPA, December 15, 2015
Jewett School of the Arts in Winter Haven is home to a new 10-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar array that was recently installed by Tampa Electric and the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida. The school, which serves 738 students, was selected as part of FSEC’s SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter Program.
“Tampa Electric is proud to provide Jewett School of the Arts with this solar PV system,” said Bruce Narzissenfeld, vice president of Marketing, Customer Service, Business Development and Fuels Operations with Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. “In addition to providing power in emergency situations, it offers a great opportunity for students to learn about the benefits of renewable energy and sustainability.”
Tampa Electric has installed solar arrays at five schools across West Central Florida as part of a $7.5 million investment to help customers install and learn about renewable technologies. Other schools that received PV arrays from Tampa Electric include Centennial Middle School in Dade City, Earl J. Lennard High School in Ruskin, Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake, and Lawton Chiles Elementary School in Tampa. In addition to the five schools, Tampa Electric provided more than $5 million in rebates to customers for new solar installations.
The PV system at Jewett, which was completed last week, will supply power to the school during normal operation, and is also designed to charge backup batteries to provide power to the school during emergencies. If the school loses power due to a storm or other event, the PV system’s batteries can automatically supply power to meet the school’s critical needs, such as lights and outlets in rooms that serve as public emergency shelters.
FSEC will collect data from the solar panels and display it online for students to use in the classroom. This will help students gain a basic understanding of how solar panels work, improve their skills in science and mathematics, and learn the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In addition to this program, Tampa Electric has installed more than 135 kilowatts of solar arrays at seven sites across West Central Florida since 1999, including at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, LEGOLAND® Florida, the Florida Aquarium, 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.
The Renewable Energy program 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 distributes 200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy.
Tampa Electric is adding even more solar at Tampa International Airport, with a 2-megawatt system that will be complete this month. Tampa Electric also has plans to build a 25-MW solar system at its Big Bend Power Station in 2016.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves more than 715,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utilities in Florida and New Mexico: Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas System and New Mexico Gas Co.