October 23 (Renewables Now) - Florida regulators have approved a cost-recovery plan for 149.3 MW of solar projects that utility Tampa Electric Co will power up in the state in January.
The green light by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) concerns the third and fourth phases of Tampa Electric’s solar expansion programme, the utility announced last week. Under the first two phases of this scheme, Tampa Electric has already put on stream 405 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity.
The third phase projects include the 74.8-MW Wimauma and 74.5-MW Little Manatee River solar farms currently under construction in Hillsborough County. The impact of the two projects' implementation on customers’ bills in January will be “more than offset” by fuel cost savings and low natural gas prices, the utility said without providing specific figures.
Tampa Electric, part of Canadian energy group Emera Inc (TSE:EMA), intends to spend USD 850 million (EUR 764.5m) to deploy 600 MW of solar capacity by 2021, which will be enough to supply over 100,000 households. The capacity under the final stage of the PV expansion initiative will be commissioned in January 2021, enabling the utility to cover 7% of its power production with solar.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.899)