Florida PSC approves Tampa Electric’s Durrance solar project

Published on November 06, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Tampa Electric’s 60-megawatt (MW) Durrance solar project in Polk County.

This is Tampa Electric’s fourth phase of solar expansion, part of an effort that has brought nine projects totaling more than 572 megawatts (MW) online between 2018 and 2020. This current Durrance solar project is scheduled to be complete in January 2021.

“This solar expansion is part of our transformation to become cleaner and greener,” Nancy Tower, president and CEO of the Tampa-based utility, said. “This is clean, renewable energy that benefits all Tampa Electric customers today and for future generations. It is a win for our customers and a win for the environment.”

Through 2023, Tampa Electric will have invested more than $1.8 billion in 1,255 MW of solar projects. When these projects are all online, about 14 percent of Tampa Electric’s energy will be solar-generated.

Overall, starting in January, the average Tampa Electric residential customer’s monthly energy bill will be $105.25 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of use — an increase of about 8 percent, or $7.56 per month, compared to current bills. Commercial and industrial customers will see bills increase between 7 percent and 11 percent compared to current bills, depending on usage. These rates are less than customers paid in 2018, and Tampa Electric officials said it’s about 20 percent below the national average.

The proposed increase is largely the result of rising natural gas prices, as well as the impact of the company’s Storm Protection Plan.

Tampa Electric — a subsidiary of Emera — serves about 780,000 customers in West Central Florida.