Solar Expansion In Rural Polk Residential Area Increases

Here’s more on the root of the opposition to Tampa Electric’s plans to expand solar energy farms in southwest Polk County.

The original word circulated among county officials was that the protest was about a facility five miles away from the area where the anti-solar signs were going up.

But it seems that information was misleading.

Here’s the rest of the story.

TECO is planning to contract for a second facility closer to the rural residential areas of Bradley and Chicora, near or bordering Albritton, Bethlehem and Chicora roads.

It would cover 417 acres spread among a group of separate tracts and generate 74.9 megawatts. According to the narrative in TECO’s initial application this plan would allow the utility to avoid falling under the provisions of the Power Plant Siting Act, which applies to facilities generating 75 MW or more.

The project will require approval of a conditional-use permit from Polk County.

To hearing date has been set.

The tentative schedule is to have the solar farm in operation by early next year.

Sierra supports solar energy because it provides cheaper, more environmentally-friendly energy that reduces the generation of greenhouse gases that affect climate change.