Regulators support Tampa Electric's new solar projects
Tampa Electric on track to have highest percentage of solar energy in Florida
TAMPA, May 8, 2018
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today reviewed Tampa Electric's first phase of solar projects and unanimously agreed that the projects are cost-effective and meet the cost-cap requirements stipulated in the November 2017 agreement. The agreement enables Tampa Electric to significantly expand its use of solar power – to become the Florida utility with the highest percentage of solar energy generation.
Tampa Electric plans to invest about $850 million in these solar projects. As the phases are completed, they will cost a typical residential customer (who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours, or kwh, per month) about $1 on the average monthly residential bill. Over their lifetimes, the projects will provide savings to customers in the form of lower fuel costs.
The first phase of Tampa Electric's solar construction, which includes two projects totaling almost 150 megawatts (MW), is scheduled to be complete in September 2018. The subsequent three phases are scheduled to be complete by Jan. 1 of 2019, 2020 and 2021. Customers will see the slight increase on their bills beginning in September.
During the next four years, Tampa Electric will add 6 million solar panels in 10 new photovoltaic solar projects. In total, Tampa Electric will install 600 MW of photovoltaic solar energy to its fleet, which is enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes. When complete, nearly 7 percent of Tampa Electric's energy generation will come from the sun – a higher percentage of solar than any other Florida utility.
"We are pleased to have the support of the Florida Commission," said Nancy Tower, president of the Tampa-based utility. "Clean energy is the future for utilities and our solar projects are a win for customers and a win for the environment."
Tampa Electric, one of Florida's largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 750,000 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.