Customers who support Sun to Go by purchasing one-time solar blocks for an event or monthly blocks that supplement their energy consumption, make it possible for Tampa Electric to build and maintain eight community-sited solar arrays. Looks for these installations that are generating clean energy right here in the Tampa Bay area and learn more about how solar energy is produced and used throughout West Central Florida.
Florida Conservation and Technology Center
The Florida Conservation and Technology Center in Apollo Beach, Florida is home to a 60,000 watt AC solar array. This location was chosen for one of our many arrays due to its proximity to Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center (MVC) and the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center that offers year-round opportunities for public education. The system provides a canopy over visitors waiting to take a shuttle to and from the MVC.
Earth Day 2014 marked the day representatives from LEGOLAND Florida and Tampa Electric flipped the switch on a Tampa Electric-owned 27,000 watt AC solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed atop LEGOLAND'S Imagination Zone. A PV system this size is capable of generating enough electricity from the sun to power three average-sized homes and offset about 40 tons of carbon dioxide per year – equivalent to planting more than nine acres of trees. See the large scale solar site.
Manatee Viewing Center
Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida (near Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station) is home to a 40-panel, 37,230 watt AC system installed atop the Manatee Viewing Center's education building. It includes 16 pole-mounted arrays consisting of 10 panels each, located throughout the parking area.
Meacham Urban Farm is an organic farm at the outskirts of downtown Tampa. It's there that our bright Florida sunshine is helping crops grow and will be teaching kids about clean solar energy. At the edge of the farm we've installed a solar "Curve" – a sun-storing array that resembles a giant flower. The Curve has its own battery, so visitors can charge their phones while watching free-range chickens roam or learning about sustainable farming methods.
Middleton High School
A magnet school for math, science, engineering and technology, Middleton High School hosts a 8,925 watt AC solar panel system as part of the school's curriculum. In case of a natural disaster or other emergency, the system also provides supplemental power for the Red Cross shelter located in this school. This 60-solar panel system has battery backup for overnight uses and is the largest contained within any Florida school.
Museum of Science and Industry
At Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), you can explore Tampa Electric's first solar panel system. The system is directly connected to the same electrical infrastructure that sends electricity to your home or business. In 2020, MOSI added two solar "Curve" charging stations that also send power to the community.
The Florida Aquarium
In Tampa's Channelside District, the Florida Aquarium's Explore-A-Shore pavilion hosts a 8,602 watt AC solar array that helps support Tampa Electric's Sun Select program. In addition to the solar installation, Tampa Electric and the Florida Aquarium installed an interactive display to teach children about the benefits of solar energy.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Tampa Electric joined with ZooTampa at Lowry Park and the University of South Florida's Power Center for Utility Explorations on a 12,793 watt AC solar panel system at the zoo. The solar panels are installed atop an elephant shade structure and an adjacent maintenance building. The project includes a Renewable Energy Learning Center that provides research opportunities for USF and Tampa Electric to study the technical, economic and environmental benefits of a renewable, grid-connected photovoltaic system for Smart Grid electric power production.
Solar for Schools
West Central Florida
As part of a $1.5 million investment to encourage customers to install solar technologies, Tampa Electric joined with the Florida Solar Energy Center's SunSmart E-Shelter program to coordinate the installation of five solar PV systems at select schools throughout West Central Florida. To qualify for the 10 kilowatt or larger system, each school had to be designated as an emergency shelter.
The donated systems provide electricity for emergency power, help reduce the school's electricity costs throughout the year and provide scientific data that can be analyzed by the students. Here are the five schools to that received a solar PV system:
Centennial Middle School
Installed Fall of 2011
38505 Centennial Road
Dade City, FL 33525
Earl J. Lennard High School
Installed Spring 2015
2342 East Shell Point Road
Ruskin, FL 33570
Jewett School of the Arts
2250 8th Street NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Lake Region High School
Installed Fall 2013
1995 Thunder Road
Eagle Lake, FL 33839
Lawton Chiles Elementary School
Installed Fall of 2012
16541 Tampa Palms Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33647
Harnessing the Power of the Sun
Connect with Nature
What is solar?
How Solar Works