A Florida utility burns coal, doubles the sun, and leaves a large part of the story

Florida utility Tampa Electric Company has announced that it will retire three coal units and double its solar output in two years. That is good news, but in an interview published last week, it did not mention that most of the energy was natural gas or that it planned to escape from fossil fuels.

Tampa Electric Solar…

Tampa Electric has been supplying electricity to the Tampa Bay area since 1899. The power plant now has 655 megawatts of solar power to power 100,000 homes. The utility needs to add an additional 600 MW solar in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Thus, the new 1,255 megawatts of solar power will be enough to power 200,000 homes by 2023. Tampa Electric serves 800,000 customers in West Central Florida.

Arch Collins, the new president and CEO of Tampa Electric, who joined the utility in February. Tampa Bay Times In a story published August 5

We currently have 655 megawatts of renewable energy, solar energy, in our system. It has enough solar power to light 100,000 homes, just to achieve it, and represents between 6 and 7% of our total energy sales.

Therefore, We will be at 14% by the end of 2023, and we are determined to do more.

He does not comment on the meaning of “beyond” in the interview.

(And the above does not apply to me. If Tampa Electric is able to power 1,255 megawatts of 200,000 homes with 800,000 customers, how does solar alone provide 7% of total energy sales? I lost something? Feel free to comment below.)

As for the roof, as of September 2020, Tampa Electric customers had only 0.7%.

The facility will also improve infrastructure and retire three of the four coal-fired power plants at the Big Bend Coal Factory in Tampa. By 2023, 1 unit will be converted to use natural gas combined cycle technology.

… And natural gas

Collins continues the interview:

I think it is surprising to many of our customers that we have seen a 95% reduction in our coal consumption in the last five years. Although we have produced 25% more energy than we did 20 years ago, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.

good. That all sounds great, right?

But here’s the thing. Most of Tampa’s electricity comes from natural gas – fossil fuels – but Collins did not even mention the term “natural gas.” Tampa Bay Times Text. Collins talks about all the right things about the sun, and it’s nice to see some instant momentum and joy in the coal, but it really has a long way to go to be a Florida utility.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, By 2019, about 74% of Florida’s electricity grid will be powered by natural gas.

In an e-mail, Professor Shinne McGregor, co-author of Chapter 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (IPCC), said:

The next two decades are particularly important. The Paris Agreement calls for sustainable and integrated global efforts aimed at rapid reductions in CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases to limit temperatures to 1.5 ° C.

Read more IPCC Climate Change Report – What to Say and What to Do

Photo – Wikipedia

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