Tampa Electric agreement calls for 600 MW of new solar power by 2021
Tampa Electric on Thursday said it plans to build 600 MW of solar projects by 2021.
The solar plans come out of an agreement the utility reached with consumer groups that includes a pledge to not increase general base rates before Jan. 1, 2022.
- When the projects are complete, nearly 7% of Tampa Electric’s generation will come from solar power.
Tampa Electric currently has only 27 MW of solar power on its system. That will change as a result of the agreement the Florida utility, a subsidiary of Canadian company Emera, reached with consumer groups.
In the first phase of the solar build-out, Tampa Electric will build two solar projects totaling about 150 MW that are due online next September. The second phase calls for four projects totaling 250 MW that would come online by January 2019. The two final phases of the project call for the remaining 200 MW of solar capacity to come online by January 2020 and January 2021. Tampa Electric said the solar projects would cost about $850 million and would result in a roughly 1% increase in the typical ratepayer’s bill.
The solar projects are the result of an agreement with consumers groups that include Florida's Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Industrial Power User's Group, a consortium of hospitals, and MacDill Air Force Base. Tampa Electric has filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to approve the agreement. The PSC is expected to make its ruling by year end.
"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,” Gordon Gillette, president and CEO of Tampa Electric, said in a statement.
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