7,000 Solar Panels Installed at TPA
February 11, Tampa International Airport was joined by Tampa Electric as they unveiled their largest solar project to date. A 2 megawatt solar array can now be seen on top of TPA's South Economy Garage. The new panels provide shade for parked cars and produce enough electricity to power up to 250 homes!
This is Tampa Electric's push into large-scale solar power. The energy produced from the panels will go to the grid, benefitting all of Tampa Electric's customers (roughly 725,000), which includes TPA.
"We are proud to be a partner with the airport on this important project, and we believe renewable energy has an important role in our energy future," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric, in a statement.
"We are thrilled to help flip the switch on this solar array and to serve as a home for an important renewable resource that will benefit all of Tampa Bay," said Joe Lopano, chief executive officer of Tampa International Airport.
This is the first in a series of large-scale installations. They plan to build a 23 megawatt solar project at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. Once complete, that system will be the largest in Hillsborough County and will produce enough energy to power 3,500 homes.
This isn't the only altnerative energy program happening at the airport. TPA has added over a dozen new electric vehicle charging stations and preferential parking for those driving alternative fuel cars. Tampa Electric reports that since 2009, TPA has saved over 315 million gallons of potable water through the use of reclaimed water. The airport currently has 54 alternative fuel vehicles.
City Breaks Ground on New Mixed-Use Development
Mayor Buckhorn and City Officials gathered on Franklin Street in Tampa for the official ground-breaking of 915 Franklin. The concept is being developed by Carter, a real-estate investment firm based out of Atlanta. When complete, 915 Franklin will be a 23-story building with 362 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail space. The development will feature an 8 story parking garage. Construction should be completed by Fall 2017.
"The leadership in this city, in terms of understanding what needs to be done to revitalize an area like this, is second to none. We are really excited. This is a big, big deal. This is a one-hundred million dollar buidling," said Bob Peterson, CEO of Carter.