Regulators approve Tampa Electric's second phase of solar projects
Tampa Electric on track to have highest percentage of solar energy in Florida
TAMPA, October 29, 2018
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the cost-effectiveness of Tampa Electric's latest phase of solar development, for five projects coming online in January.
This approval is for the second of four phases of solar expansion, and the cost-effectiveness of the projects confirms the viability of Tampa Electric's aggressive addition of solar to its generating fleet.
"These solar projects are a win for our customers and a win for the environment," said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa-based utility. "This is safe, renewable energy that benefits all Tampa Electric customers today and for future generations. Over their lives, these solar projects are a cheaper option for customers than keeping our generating fleet running as it is today."
Tampa Electric's first phase of solar construction – two projects totaling 145 megawatts (MW) – came online in September and was previously approved by the PSC. This second phase, approved today, is scheduled to be complete in January and includes five projects totaling 260 MW. The final phases are scheduled to be complete in January 2020 and 2021.
In January, Tampa Electric's residential bills will remain among the lowest in Florida; the solar projects' impact on customers' bills in January will be more than offset by reductions from tax reform and fuel costs.
By 2021, Tampa Electric will invest $850 million to 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.
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.