In a second phase of a plan to increase its use of solar energy, Tampa Electric Co. on Friday asked state regulators for approval to recoup money from customers to pay for five solar projects in Hillsborough and Polk counties.
The utility filed the proposal at the Florida Public Service Commission, which last month signed off on a similar request for two solar projects in the first phase of Tampa Electric’s plan.
The Public Service Commission in 2017 approved a settlement agreement that set Tampa Electric’s base electric rates until 2022.
Part of that agreement allowed the utility to return to the commission to seek approval to recover money for solar projects.
The projects approved last month were a 70.3-megawatt facility in Polk County and a 74.4-megawatt facility in Hillsborough County, which are scheduled to be finished in September.
The projects proposed Friday total 260.3 megawatts, with a cost of $46 million, according to the utility’s filing with the commission.
Two of the projects are slated for agricultural land and old orange groves in Hillsborough County, while three are on agricultural land and reclaimed phosphate mine in Polk County. They would be completed by Jan. 1.
Tampa Electric has about 750,000 customers in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.