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Tampa Electric to build the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area

Staff writer ▼ | August 5, 2015
Tampa Electric, subsidiary of TECO Energy, will build the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa Electric
Green energy   Reducing carbon dioxide emissions around Tampa Bay
The 25-megawatt (MW) facility will feature more than 70,000 solar panels on 125 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. Scheduled to be completed in 2016, the solar project will be the largest ever built by Tampa Electric and have the capacity to power more than 3,500 homes.

The Big Bend site includes Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center (MVC), which has hosted more than 4.3 million visitors since it opened in 1986. That number will increase with construction underway at the Florida Conservation and Technology Center just south of the property.

The Big Bend installation is the second large-scale solar project being built by Tampa Electric. The first, a 2-MW facility at Tampa International Airport, is under construction on the top floor of the airport’s south economy parking garage.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, it will be able to produce enough electricity to power up to 250 homes, or roughly the equivalent of the airport’s new 1.4-mile automated people mover.

The large-scale solar installations at Big Bend and Tampa International Airport highlight Tampa Electric’s commitment to clean energy and complement the utility’s existing solar systems that since 2000 have allowed customers to voluntarily purchase renewable energy.

The company has installed solar systems at LEGOLAND Florida, the Florida Aquarium, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, the MVC, and two schools (Walker Middle School and Middleton High School). Tampa Electric plans to install another solar PV system as part of its Renewable Energy program this year.

The 25-MW solar facility at Big Bend will further reduce Tampa Electric’s overall carbon dioxide emissions. The utility is an industry leader in emissions reductions, having completed a $1.2 billion agreement to dramatically reduce overall emissions.