Four new Tampa Electric solar plants began producing electricity from the sun this month, completing the next phase of the company’s significant solar expansion.
Tampa Electric’s solar projects can now produce 1,252 megawatts of electricity, also called 1.25 gigawatts, enough to power more than 200,000 homes. This wave of solar construction includes Dover Solar in Hillsborough County, Juniper Solar in Pasco County and Alafia Solar and Lake Mabel Solar, both in Polk County.
“Thanks to our strategic investment in solar power, Tampa Electric customers have saved about $200 million in fuel costs in the past five years,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “We know how important these savings are for customers, and in coming years, we expect to generate even more power from the sun.”
Construction will begin in January 2024 for the next phase of solar power, with more planned by the end of 2026. At that time, Tampa Electric will have more than 1,600 MW of solar, which will be able to serve 260,000 homes. When those projects are complete, Tampa Electric will have about 17 percent of its energy generated from the sun — the highest percentage of solar generation of any utility in the state.
Tampa Electric’s investment in solar energy helps to:
• Save fuel costs for customers and assist in reducing the impact of volatile natural gas prices. Since 2017, solar power has saved customers about $200 million in fuel costs.
• Conserve water. By repurposing former agricultural land for solar investments, Tampa Electric has saved more than 4.3 billion gallons of water in an area of Florida with critical concerns about water use.
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Tampa Electric is committed to a cleaner-energy future, and when complete these projects will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.35 million tons every year, which is roughly equal to removing 500,000 cars from the road.
• Customers wanting more information about solar energy can visit Tampa Electric’s new webpage at www.tampaelectric.com/solarsolutions.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 830,000 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.