State regulators Tuesday approved a plan by Tampa Electric Co. to add a solar-energy project in Polk County, the fourth phase in an effort by the utility to build solar facilities. The Florida Public Service Commission signed off on what is known as the Durrance solar project, which is slated for 463 acres of agricultural land in Polk County, according to a document filed by the company.
Tampa Electric in 2017 reached a base-rate agreement that allowed it to return to the Public Service Commission to seek approval to recover costs from customers for four phases of solar-energy projects. The Durrance project is the fourth phase and is expected to cost $68.6 million for 45.7 megawatts of solar-energy capacity, a Public Service Commission staff recommendation said.
The overall project is expected to total 60.1 megawatts, but the utility sought recovery of money for 45.7 megawatts and indicated it might seek recovery later for the rest. The approval Tuesday is expected to lead to a monthly increase of 44 cents on the bills of residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, a common industry benchmark, according to the commission. The increase will take take effect in January.
Article reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.