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Florida Commission Approves TECO Micogrid Pilot Program

Nov. 19, 2021
TECO-owned BES will interconnect customer homes with community-sited battery storage and traditional generation.

Florida's Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved a four-year microgrid pilot program for Tampa Electric Co. (TECO), which includes battery storage and solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment at customer residences. The pilot's system can operate independently and can also connect to the utility grid as backup.

Known as the Block Energy System (BES), the microgrid technology and associated generating equipment will provide up to 37 homes with power in Hillsborough County's new Medley at Southshore Bay development. The TECO-owned BES will interconnect customer homes with community-sited battery storage and traditional generation using an underground direct current distribution system.

Microgrid pilot participants will pay the same rates for electricity as TECO's other customers, and the pilot will provide valuable data on a new residential solar and battery storage grid system.

The Commission's approval includes several provisions — initial capital costs will be capped at US$1.99 million, TECO will provide annual reports to the PSC on the pilot's successes and failures, a survey of participants in the pilot's third year on their willingness to pay a monthly surcharge for increased reliability, and a final report assessing the pilot and any merits to make it permanent. The pilot will begin when the Commission's final order is issued.

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