Atop the Tampa Convention Center under the brilliant morning sun on Nov. 8, Tampa Electric President and CEO Archie Collins laid out a transformative plan for a cleaner-energy future.
With new, emerging and future technologies, Tampa Electric will reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. As part of this effort, the company has partnered with the University of South Florida to invest in a multi-year, multi-disciplinary “genius grant” to focus on innovation, research and workforce development.
With the city of Tampa, Tampa Electric is partnering to install a new solar panel array on the convention center’s roof. As Collins said, it’s “hopefully … the first of many innovative and public-facing clean energy project in the city.”
Collins said more people need to know the success story of Tampa Electric’s emissions reductions since the year 2000: 99 percent less sulfur dioxide, 95 percent less nitrogen oxide and 50 percent less carbon dioxide, with 25 percent more power capacity at the company over the same period – in addition to better reliability while customer electric bills have remained well below the national average.
These achievements lay the groundwork for the huge changes to come. Some will arrive sooner – like Tampa Electric’s ability to double the number of homes it can power with energy from the sun (100,000 today versus 200,000 in 2023) – and some will result from innovation and technology to come.
“We believe this is what customers want,” Collins said. “Additionally, we acknowledge that the impact of climate change is real on our environment, especially in places like Florida, which are on the front line of climate change. We, therefore, feel obligated to do our small part to combat global warming … it’s simply the right thing to do.”
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor praised Collins and Tampa Electric for their leadership.
“[Tampa] city government cannot take this path toward resiliency and sustainability alone,” she said. “That’s why we are very fortunate to have the partners we have in TECO as the sole energy provider in … the Hillsborough County area. We are so very fortunate to have you here, Archie Collins, as the president and CEO of [Tampa Electric].”
Rhea Law, interim president of USF, added her enthusiastic voice of support as well.
“This is really an ideal partnership if you think about it,” Law said. “It pairs Tampa Electric’s longtime environmental sustainability and leadership with our own research university that is focused on global sustainability and resiliency. We are looking forward to achieving that goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. That’s just around the corner. We need to get busy, we need to work fast, and we will!”
For more information on Tampa Electric’s approach to prioritizing the environment and taking climate action, visit our Net-Zero Vision page at www.teconetzero.com.