Past meets future as Tampa Electric retrofits 25MW of solar to coal-fired plant

On August 4, 2015, Tampa (Florida) Electric Company announced plans to build a massive solar array next to its Big Bend Power Station — a project expected to produce enough electricity to power 3,500 homes.

The project will dwarf TECO’s other solar arrays, including one now under construction atop a parking garage at Tampa International Airport. That project will produce 2 megawatts of power. The Big Bend project will produce 25 megawatts of electricity.

TECO plans to construct the array on a 125-acre tract adjacent to the power plant. It will be the largest solar power facility in Hillsborough County.

Since then, the cost of such systems has come down.

With this project, we will have invested more than $50 million in solar since 2000,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. “We’re pleased to be able to demonstrate our commitment to providing our customers with more renewable energy by taking advantage of declining solar system prices and land we own at Big Bend,” he said in a press release.

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