TECO to raise rates slightly to fund two solar projects

Solar energy farm
The average rate payer will see about a $1 increase on their monthly bill.

The Florida Public Service Commission approved rate increases for Tampa Electric Company customers to cover costs for the utility’s solar plans.

The TECO cost recovery includes two solar projects that will create 150 megawatts of electricity.

“TECO’s expanded use of solar power continues to improve its fuel diversity and sustainability, which is good for the economy, as well as the environment,” PSC Chairman Art Graham said.

“Today’s approval of TECO’s third solar project phase brings the utility’s total to 550 megawatts of solar generation, which lowers fuel costs.”

The two projects sought $26.5 million in rate-payer increases that will add $1 to the monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours. TECO expects its $193 million in estimated fuel savings from the two projects to help offset rate increases.

Both projects are in Hillsborough County in Wimauma and Little Manatee River. Both will generate about 75 megawatts of electricity. TECO expects the projects to be up and running before January.

The PSC approved TECO’s first solar projects in Payne Creek and Balm last May and a second round of solar projects in Lithia, Grange Hall, Peace Creek, Bonnie Mine and Lake Hannock last October.

A settlement agreement with the PSC blocked rate increases until Jan. 1, 2022, but the company is allowed to recover costs through rate increases for solar generation.

TECO serves more than 750,000 customers in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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