TAMPA, February 7, 2019
Three new Tampa Electric solar plants with 1.7 million solar panels began producing electricity from the sun in January, marking the halfway point of the company's significant solar expansion.
In 2017, the company announced its commitment to add 6 million solar panels – enough to produce 600 megawatts (MW) of power – by 2021. In September, the first two projects began producing power, Balm Solar in southern Hillsborough County, and Payne Creek Solar, in southern Polk County. In January, three more joined the fleet – Lithia, Grange Hall and Bonnie Mine solar.
In total, Tampa Electric's solar projects can produce 318 MW – just more than half of the 600-MW expansion. The projects can produce enough energy to power nearly 49,500 homes.
"We are excited to see these projects come online," said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. "Solar plants like these are a major part of our commitment to a clean energy future for Tampa Bay, and we're just getting started."
Two more solar projects are scheduled to come online in the near future; Peace Creek and Lake Hancock, both in Polk County. The remaining projects will be complete in January 2020 and 2021.
When the projects are complete in 2021, Tampa Electric will have nearly 7 percent of its energy generated from the sun – the highest percentage of solar generation of any utility in the state.
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.
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