Tampa International Airport and Tampa Electric on Feb. 11 unveiled the canopy of solar panels on the top floor of the airport’s south Economy Parking Garage – which provides solar energy to Tampa Electric’s customers and shade for parking patrons.
At a total of 2 MW of capacity, this is Tampa Electric’s first foray into large-scale solar power and its largest solar photovoltaic (PV) installation to date. Tampa Electric owns the PV array, and the electricity it produces goes to the grid, to benefit all of Tampa Electric’s nearly 725,000 customers, including the airport.
“This is a big step in Tampa Electric’s renewable portfolio, and this is just the beginning,” said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric. “We are proud to be a partner with the airport on this important project, and we believe renewable energy has an important role in our energy future.”
Tampa Electric plans to build several more large-scale solar arrays in the next few years, including a 23-MW solar project at the coal-fired Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.
“We are thrilled to help flip the switch on this solar array and to serve as a home for an important renewable resource that will benefit all of Tampa Bay,” said Joe Lopano, chief executive officer of Tampa International Airport. “Tampa International Airport, through this and other initiatives, is committed to sustainability with the goal of improving our airport, our city and the entire region.”
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, is part of the TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) family of companies. Tampa Electric serves nearly 725,000 customers in West Central Florida.