The City of Tampa may be the next in Florida to be considering new community solar options for its residents. According to Whit Remer, Tampa’s sustainability and resilience officer, established buildings in Downtown Tampa are being eyed for possible rooftop solar installations. Among them is the Tampa Convention Center.
These arrays would be the first of their kind, especially if they are among used to bring new community solar options to surrounding neighborhoods. Remer confirmed that the arrays are something the city has always wanted to pursue.
The plans for the rooftop installations came with an Environment Florida Research & Policy Center news conference. During the conference, Tampa was ranked highly among other major cities in the United States for having the most solar energy installations. The “Shining Cities” report listed Tampa s number 29 and estimated that the city generates somewhere between 25 and 50 watts of power per person in solar energy alone. The new figures moved it up four spots from 2019.
Should the city go ahead with the new installations, the next step could be community solar options to bring renewable energy to those that can’t afford rooftop panels. The city’s mayor Jane Castor distributed a release emphasizing Tampa’s commitment to utilizing renewable energy. The release stated that the city is considering new projects and partnerships to help increase Tampa’s solar capacity.
Among the neighborhoods Remer has been eyeing up cater to affordable housing. The hope is that by bringing solar energy and introducing new community solar options, households will benefit from reduced utility bills. Additional land has been surveyed in parks in east Tampa. Remer hopes that by bringing solar energy to established parks and public spaces would reinvigorate the regions and draw in more visitors.
Currently, there is no timeline on when specific sites will be named.