Tampa Electric completes bay area's largest solar project
Big Bend Solar array is large enough to power nearly 3,300 homes
TAMPA, February 15, 2017
Tampa Electric has completed construction of the Big Bend solar array – the largest solar energy installation in the Tampa Bay area.
The 23-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic array includes more than 200,000 thin-film solar panels that track the sun. Tracking solar arrays produce over 30 percent more energy than fixed solar arrays. The array will provide environmental savings of up to 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year – which is the equivalent of removing up to 6,000 cars from the road.
The project sits on 106 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach and has the capacity to power nearly 3,300 homes. It began commercial operation Friday.
"Tampa Electric is proud to have built the Tampa Bay area's largest solar array," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. "This investment in large-scale solar using the latest technology further demonstrates our commitment to clean energy, as part of our commitment to deliver affordable and reliable energy to our 730,000 customers."
The Big Bend installation is the third large-scale solar project for Tampa Electric since 2015. The first, a 2-MW facility on the top floor of Tampa International Airport's south economy parking garage, produces enough electricity to power up to 250 homes. Tampa Electric also installed a 1.8-MW solar facility at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
Tampa Electric has invested more than $50 million in large-scale solar installations. Since 2000, customers have been able to voluntarily purchase renewable energy from the company's other solar arrays at LEGOLAND Florida, the Florida Aquarium, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, the MVC and two schools.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida's largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves more than 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.