Integrated Renewable Energy Systems - A Benefit to Your Business and The Environment

Our first IRES at our East Tampa location off 78th Street.

Tampa Electric’s Integrated Renewable Energy System (IRES) has completed the first year of its three-year pilot program. Last year, we launched a “first of its kind” system that uses the power of the sun to charge our fleet of electric vehicles and help supply the grid for the benefit of all our customers. Now we are ready to demonstrate how an IRES can benefit your business.

Our IRES consists of five elevated solar arrays with over 2,300 solar panels and a total generating capacity of more than 800 kilowatts – enough solar energy to power more than 125 average-sized homes. The system’s commercial-grade batteries can store nearly 1,200 kilowatt-hours of clean energy from the sun – enough to drive an EV from Tampa to Seattle – nearly 3,500 miles.

An IRES is a lifesaver during peak energy usage.

According to Susan Fitzgerald, Tampa Electric's Supervisor of Commercial Programs, "This ground-breaking system has been a tremendous learning experience. We have been monitoring the system, evaluating capabilities, and sharing findings with the Florida Public Service Commission.”

Over the past year, we performed different testing scenarios on the system to determine how the IRES can be optimized to help reduce peak demand for electricity. Peak demand occurs when most customers are using electricity at the same time. When optimized, an IRES can help reduce or offset overall demand, making it possible for Tampa Electric to satisfy demand with existing capacity. Doing so benefits all customers by improving grid reliability and keeping energy costs as low as possible.

In addition to generating solar power to charge EVs and batteries during prolonged power outages, there are two ways that an IRES helps during peak times:

  1. It can send power stored in commercial batteries and power generated by the solar array directly to the grid to help meet demand.
  2. It can charge electric vehicles and commercial batteries during low-demand times and discharge the batteries when needed to help supply energy to the grid.

As electric vehicles and battery storage become mainstream, Tampa Electric is developing programs that incentivize fleet operators to discharge the battery storage during peak times or alter the time of day that they charge their electric vehicles to help us meet demand.

What can you do with an IRES?

While installing solar panels can offset energy costs and mitigate your organization’s environmental impact, combining them with battery storage and electric vehicle charging offers even more financial and environmental benefits. For example, an IRES:

  1. Provides more flexibility in terms of using the energy generated.
  2. Allows facilities to “flatten” their total electrical load, including the electricity needed to power EV chargers.
  3. Enables businesses to be more resilient and self-sustaining during utility disruptions such as power failures caused by bad weather or equipment breakdowns.
  4. Permits “time of use” rates to lower your energy bill.

Tampa Electric uses the IRES to charge its fleet of plug-in electric vehicles, including 20 battery-powered bucket trucks with advanced battery technology that eliminates the need for their diesel engines to elevate the buckets. Instead, each truck’s battery system produces more than enough power to elevate and control its bucket – saving fuel. Learn more about Tampa Electric’s fleet of electric vehicles.

Schedule a tour to learn more.

You’re cordially invited to see how IRES can empower your business. Email Susan Fitzgerald at to schedule a tour and learn more about Integrated Renewable Energy Systems.