By Editors of Power Engineering
As part of a rate settlement, Tampa Electric has agreed to install 600 MW of new solar power in 10 separate projects.
When the projects are finished, nearly seven percent of Tampa Electric’s energy generation will come from solar. The company said that would be a higher percentage of solar use than any other Florida utility.
Tampa Electric plans to complete two projects totaling 150 MW in September 2018, with another four projects totaling 250 MW in January 2019. Additional phases will come online by the start of 2020 and 2021.
The settlement includes Florida's Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Industrial Power User's Group, a consortium of hospitals and the federal government, which represented MacDill Air Force Base.
As part of the settlement, Tampa Electric will not raise its base rates for four years.
"This is a continuation of Tampa Electric's longstanding commitment to clean energy," said Gordon Gillette, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa-based utility. "We have long believed in the promise of renewable energy, and we believe now is the time to add large utility-scale solar generation, as the costs of construction have come down and while federal tax credits remain in place. And Emera's philosophy is to transition power generation to less carbon intensity while remaining affordable for our customers.”
The agreement still needs to be approved by the Public Service Commission.
Currently, Tampa Electric owns 27 MW of solar power.