Company Header Graphic
News Release

Florida Public Service Commission approves Tampa Electric’s contract to purchase solar photovoltaic energy

Tampa Electric will purchase the entire electrical output from the Energy 5.0 LLC solar photovoltaic (PV) project.

TAMPA, December 15, 2009

Tampa Electric today announced that the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approved its contract to purchase solar power supplied by Energy 5.0’s Florida Solar I project, a proposed 25-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic electric generating station, for a 25-year period beginning in 2011.

Energy 5.0, a Florida-based company with experience and success in the development, financing and operation of renewable energy projects, will build the 25-MW facility on a 350-acre site in Polk County. The project will be one of the largest solar facilities in the nation.

The project will include approximately 100,000 silicon-based photovoltaic panels that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. The 25-MW facility is expected to produce more than 48,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year – enough output to serve the electric energy needs of more than 3,400 homes.

Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, said, “We applaud the Commission’s approval of our purchase power agreement with Energy 5.0 and we are excited about moving forward with this solar project that will benefit our customers and the interests of all Floridians. We continue to support the development of in-state, renewable energy sources.”

Tampa Electric filed a petition with the FPSC in March 2009 for approval to purchase the energy generated by Energy 5.0’s Florida Solar I project. Energy 5.0 was the successful bidder.

Over the 25-year contract term, the project is expected to avoid the emission of more than one million tons of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent of removing more than 5,000 cars a year from the road for 25 years.

Typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month of electricity will see their bills increase by approximately 50 cents beginning in 2011.

The contract will also:

  • Promote the state's goal of encouraging the production of renewable energy produced by generating facilities in Florida.
  • Provide the basis for significant new investment, economic development and job creation in Polk County and in the state.
  • Reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity generation.
  • Protect the company and its customers from technical and operational risks through its energy-only, fixed pricing.
  • Provide fuel diversity benefits.

“As our company’s flagship solar power project, this undertaking will be a showcase for zero-emission, renewable power in the Southeast,” said Energy 5.0 Chairman Bud Cherry.

Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an integrated energy-related holding company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a family of unregulated businesses. Tampa Electric Company is a regulated utility with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries are engaged in coal, and electric generation and distribution in Guatemala.

Energy 5.0 LLC
Energy 5.0 LLC, headquartered in West Palm Beach, is a privately held, well-capitalized, Florida-based company. Founded by energy professionals with over 80 years of industry experience, Energy 5.0 applies creative and reliable solutions to create value in energy ventures. Energy 5.0 is committed to excellence in the delivery of clean renewable energy.
Energy 5.0’s principals have over 40 years of experience in renewable energy power project development and renewable technology application utilizing cogeneration, geothermal, solar and wind technology. Energy 5.0 knows how to design, build and operate successful renewable energy projects. Energy 5.0 has assembled a team of recognized solar industry players and Florida professionals to undertake the Florida Solar I Project. Drawing on its own experience and this network of qualified professionals, the Energy 5.0 team will use its talent and state of the art technology to deliver a project with lasting beneficial impact.

For more information on Energy 5.0 LLC and its principals, visit

Media Contact
For journalist inquiries only:

TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: Email Icon