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Florida PSC Approves Tampa Electric's Newest Solar Project

Nov. 5, 2020
Durrance project to be constructed to a total capacity of 60.1 MW.

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved cost recovery for the fourth phase of Tampa Electric Co.'s (TECO) solar construction plans, covering a single solar project totaling 60.1 MW.

"The TECO's expanded use of solar power benefits its customers now and also protects Florida's future fuel supply and environment," said Gary Clark, PSC chairman. "This fourth solar project phase brings the TECO's solar generation total to 600 MW, boosting Florida's renewable energy portfolio."

Located in Polk County, the Durrance project is expected to be in service on or before Jan. 1, 2021. While the Durrance project will be constructed to a total capacity of 60.1 MW, the TECO only petitioned for cost recovery of 45.7 MW through the Solar Base Rate Adjustment mechanism. Recovery of the remaining 14.4 MW may be addressed in a future docket.

The additional revenue requirement for the project is US$7.5 million, which is below the cap approved in the TECO's 2017 settlement agreement. This translates to a US$0.44 monthly residential bill increase, beginning in January 2021, for a customer using 1000 kWh.

The TECO's first phase solar projects, Payne Creek and Balm — totaling 145 MW — were approved by the PSC in June 2018. The TECO's second phase solar projects, Lithia, Grange Hall, Peace Creek, Bonnie Mine, and Lake Hancock — totaling 260 MW — were approved in December 2018. The company's third phase solar projects, Wimauma Solar and Little Manatee River Solar — both totaling 150 MW — were approved in November 2019.

The TECO's PSC-approved 2017 settlement agreement froze its base rates until Jan. 1, 2022, but allowed the company to recover the costs of added solar generation up to 600 MW.

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