Tampa Electric has signed a contract to purchase solar power from a proposed 25-megawatt facility to be built in Polk County.
The contract with Energy 5.0, a West Palm Beach renewable energy company, would produce enough power for more than 3,400 homes, according to Tampa Electric and its parent company TECO Energy.
"I applaud TECO and Energy 5.0 on this exciting partnership that moves Florida closer to our goal of increasing energy diversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Gov. Charlie Crist said in a news release.
The solar electric generating facility will be built on a 200- to 400-acre site in Polk County. It will use silicon-based photovoltaic panels that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. The contract stipulates that Tampa Electric will purchase the power for a 25-year period starting in 2011.
Over that time, the project is expected to avoid the emission of up to 1.45 million tons of carbon dioxide when compared to some natural gas-fired turbines, according to Tampa Electric.
The Florida Public Service Commission still must approve the deal.