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City of Tampa is looking at rooftop solar

Tampa's sustainability and resilience officer said the city is looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy.

Tampa may be getting new solar arrays downtown in the near future.

Whit Remer, the city’s new sustainability and resilience officer, said he is looking into buildings downtown that may be suitable for a rooftop array, including the Tampa Convention Center.

“We’ve never done a rooftop array or any type of community solar,” he said. “That’s something that we’re really looking forward to.”

Remer’s plans came as part of a news conference by Environment Florida Research & Policy Center, which ranked Tampa highly among major U.S. cities with the most solar power currently installed.

Related: Tampa Electric plans to double it’s solar power over 3 years. What does that look like?

Tampa ranked No 29 on the “Shining Cities” report, which estimated that Tampa has between 25 and 50 watts per person of solar power per capita installed largely by the private sector. It moved up four spots from the prior year’s ranking. The ranking’s top spot went to Los Angeles.

Tampa was in the middle of the pack among the four Florida cities ranked. Jacksonville held the highest spot at No. 19, followed by Orlando at No. 32 and Miami at No. 53.

“We are ready to double down on our commitment to renewable energy,” Tampa mayor Jane Castor said in a release. “We are actively assessing projects and identifying partners and programs to help the City add new solar capacity.”

While Remer doesn’t have a timeline on a new solar project, some of the areas the city is considering are affordable housing, to help lower electricity payments, and city parks in east Tampa, to help light up walkways for evening walks.

“There’s lots of green space out there we’d like to reactivate,” he said.