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Tampa Electric Co. received state approval Thursday for two large solar-power projects in Hillsborough County, part of a multi-year plan to build solar facilities.

State regulators next week will take up proposed rules that could help set the stage for an expansion of underground power lines in hurricane-weary Florida.

Paul Warren
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The two biggest utilities in Florida - Duke Energy and the parent company of Florida Power and Light - have just announced they plan to cut their emissions by more than half by 2030. And North Carolina-based Duke wants to eliminate their carbon output by mid-century.  

Duke Energy Florida said Monday it expects to see a reduction in customers’ monthly electric bills in 2020 because of factors such as lower fuel costs for power plants.

Pointing to issues such as low natural-gas prices, Tampa Electric Co. said this week it expects customers’ monthly bills to be reduced in 2020.

The utility on Tuesday made filings with the state Public Service Commission that take into account expenses such as fuel costs for power plants.

TECO's  Big Bend Power Station
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Pointing to concerns about climate change, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., urged Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Cabinet members Friday to conduct a “thorough review” of a proposed Tampa Electric Co. power-plant project.

TECO Customers Set Record For Electricity Use

Jul 1, 2019

Feeling a little warm lately? You’re not alone.

Tampa Electric Co. customers set a record this week for summer electricity use. 

Feeling a little warm lately? You’re not alone.

Tampa Electric Co. customers set a record this week for summer electricity use.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The biggest coal-burning power plant in Florida may soon switch partially to natural gas. TECO says it's part of a move to cleaner energy, but some groups that aren't backing the switch plan to attend a public hearing Monday night in Riverview.

Natural Gas Costs Could Increase TECO Bills

Jan 16, 2019
PXHere

Pointing to higher-than-expected natural gas costs, Tampa Electric Co. on Tuesday asked state regulators to approve an increase in customer bills that would take effect in April.

Tampa Electric

Tampa Electric’s solar panel project is facing pushback from residents in Pasco County, as homeowners have filed lawsuits against the installation of the facility.

Regulators Sign Off On TECO Solar Projects

Oct 30, 2018

The Florida Public Service Commission on Monday gave a key approval to a Tampa Electric Co. plan that will add five solar-energy projects in Hillsborough and Polk counties. 

FPL Customers To Receive Hurricane Matthew Recovery Refund

Jul 11, 2018

Florida Power & Light customers will see a small, one-time credit in August that in part corrects an “over-recovery” cost for Hurricane Matthew, which whipped the east coast in 2016.

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Changes are coming to Tampa Electric's coal-fired Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. 

As part of their “Big Bend project," TECO will spend $853 million to convert one of its coal units, Unit 1, to use natural gas. Another coal unit, Unit 2, will be shut down in 2021. 

Cherie Jacobs, a spokeswoman for TECO, said this move is part of the companies move away from coal by 2023.

"This Tampa Electric project is part of our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint," said Jacobs.

Bizbraid

Members of the Pasco County Planning Commission on Monday approved a $75 million solar farm to be built on land previously zoned for agricultural use near Dade City.

The solar plant, which will add around 50 megawatts to the power grid by the end of the year, is part of an $850 million plan by Tampa Electric to create 10 solar plants by 2021.

Tampa Electric is planning to build a $75 million solar farm in East Pasco County.

Duke, TECO Ask To Hike Rates After Irma

Dec 29, 2017

Pointing to Hurricane Irma and other recent storms, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Company on Thursday filed proposals to collect millions from customers.

TECO Deal Includes Rate Freeze, Solar Expansion

Sep 29, 2017

Tampa Electric Company has asked state regulators to approve a proposed agreement that would largely freeze base rates though 2021 and help lead to an expansion of solar energy.

Electric bills for thousands of Floridians could go up.

Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Company filed to increase customers' monthly electric bills. If approved, Duke customers will pay 8.5 percent more in 2018, raising rates to $128.54 per 1,000 kilowatt hours, the average energy use per home each month.

In late June, five workers at TECO's Big Bend power station in Apollo Beach were gravely injured in an accident.

Two died that day, three others later succumbed to their injuries.  Another worker was left seriously burned. 

Over the last two decades, more workers have died at Tampa Electric’s power plants than at those run by any other Florida utility.

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Tampa Police say Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Gregory Patterson was killed after hitting a downed live electrical wire while riding his bike on the Courtney Campbell Causeway early Wednesday morning. It happened around 6:40. 

A medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, but police say it appears he was electrocuted.

TECO Energy, the parent company of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System, will be sold to Canada-based Emera Inc. in a deal estimated at $10.4 billion, the companies announced Friday.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2016.

Study: Florida Third-Worst For Power Plant Pollution

Sep 11, 2013
Yoselis Ramos

Even though Florida is known for its sunshine, we have the third-worst carbon* pollution of any state, at least according to one report.

A citizen advocacy group, Environment Florida,  released a report today called "America's Dirtiest Power Plants."  Environment Florida used 2011 federal data to rank the dirtiest power plants nationwide. Florida ranks third in electric power sector emissions, particularly in carbon dioxide.

TECO Seeks to Raise Residential Rates by 10%

Feb 4, 2013

Tampa Electric Company will ask for a 10 percent increase on residential rates. It could mean an average of $11 extra a month coming out of customers' pockets.

TECO  is blaming the slow recovery of the economy and costs to maintaining their infrastructures for the rate increase request.

"We know there's never a good time to raise rates and we empathize with our customers who like us are also feeling the effects of a difficult economy," says company spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

A new effort to promote clean energy for transportation in the Tampa Bay area was launched at USF Tuesday morning, but it's not the first time such an initiative has been attempted. In the late 1990s, the Suncoast Clean Cities Coalition brought together dozens of member groups interested in alternative energy. However, the coalition died out in part because resources weren't available.

Fast forward to today, when electric cars are more prevalent and gas is nearly four dollars a gallon, and the need for a centralized organizing group has been rekindled. That need is being met with the Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition.

"The timing is perfect because now I think the general public that doesn't have time to pay attention to this stuff on a daily basis can see that these technologies are not for hobbyists or transportation geeks like me," said the USF's Patel School of Global Sustainability's Stephen Reich. "They're really mainstream alternatives to filling their tanks with petroleum or diesel every day."

Horia Varlan

A nationwide energy scam has cropped up in Florida. And just to be clear, for the ones who've fallen for it, President Barack Obama will not be picking up your energy tab.

Almost 2,000 Tampa Electric customers were duped into believing the President was going to pay their power bill. Customers say they heard of the deal by text, Facebook message and notices on their front doors.

TECO spokeswoman Sylvia Vega says no one seems to have profited from the prank.

Vega explains what happened: