Florida PSC approves cost recovery plan for Tampa Electric’s solar projects
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Tampa Electric Company’s (TECO) cost recovery plan for two solar projects in the area.
The two solar projects, located in Hillsborough County, are Wimauma Solar (74.8 MW) and Little Manatee River Solar (74.5 MW). Both are expected to be in service in January 2020 or before.
“TECO’s expanded use of solar power continues to improve its fuel diversity and sustainability, which is good for the economy, as well as the environment,” PSC Chairman Art Graham said. “Today’s approval of TECO’s third solar project phase brings the utility’s total to 550 megawatts of solar generation, which lowers fuel costs.”
The additional revenue requirement for the two projects is $26.5 million, which translates to a $1.00 monthly bill increase, beginning in January 2020, for a residential customer using 1,000 kWh. TECO’s estimated $193 million in fuel savings from the projects along with lower natural gas prices will offset that increase. Tampa Electric has among the lowest residential rates in Florida and that is expected to be the case in 2020.
“This solar expansion is a win for our customers and a win for the environment,” Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa-based utility, said. “This is safe, renewable energy that benefits all Tampa Electric customers today and for future generations.”
This is the third phase of TECO’s solar plan. First phase solar projects — Payne Creek and Balm — were approved in May 2018 while the second phase projects — Lithia, Grange Hall, Peace Creek, Bonnie Mine, and Lake Hancock — were approved in October 2018. The first two phases total 405 megawatts (MW) of solar energy. There are four phases overall. The final phase is scheduled to be completed in January 2021. By 2021, about 7 percent of Tampa Electric’s energy generation will come from the sun – a higher percentage of solar than any other Florida utility.
TECO serves about 750,000 customers in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.
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