Tampa Electric to build largest solar project in Tampa Bay

TECO Energy to build solar project at coal-fired power plant

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Electric Co. has announced plans to build the largest solar array in the Tampa Bay area.

Multiple media outlets report that the subsidiary of TECO Energy announced Tuesday that it plans to erect a 25-megawatt facility using 70,000 solar panels on 125 acres at its Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.

When complete, the project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 3,500 homes, seven times the electricity generated by the area's current largest solar installation at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital.

TECO spokeswoman Sylvia Vega says once the array begins operating in 2016, customers' fuel charges will be slightly reduced.

Vega says the investment and operating costs will not immediately increase customer bills, but that cost will be considered for rate recovery in the future.

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