Tampa Electric today unveiled a 1.8-megawatt solar canopy at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort that is producing electricity – and shade – for visitors at the popular Winter Haven vacation destination.
The twelve rows of solar panels over the resort’s preferred parking lot, adjacent to the iconic theme park entrance, can produce enough electricity to power more than 200 homes and enough shade for more than 600 vehicles. It’s Tampa Electric’s second large-scale, community-sited photovoltaic (PV) array to be installed in its territory, and its first large-scale array in Polk County.
“We are proud to be a partner with LEGOLAND Florida Resort on this project,” said Gordon Gillette, president and CEO of Tampa Electric. “This is an exciting example of how community partners can work together to demonstrate the benefits of solar energy and the role it plays in our energy future.”
Tampa Electric owns the PV array, and the electricity it produces goes to the grid, benefiting the company’s 730,000 customers. The solar array can generate enough electricity from the sun to power the resort’s 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel.
“We’re delighted to partner with Tampa Electric on this smart, innovative project,” said Adrian Jones, general manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort. “It not only benefits guests with shade for their vehicles, but it’s also a terrific demonstration of what can be achieved when businesses combine their skills and resources.”
Tampa Electric’s new system at LEGOLAND Florida Resort joins a smaller PV installation already in its theme park. In 2014, the company installed solar panels atop Imagination Zone, a large, indoor attraction filled with hands-on science and engineering-based activities for kids. Tampa Electric has installed nine community-sited solar PV arrays that offer the public an opportunity to see solar up close and to learn about the technology.
Tampa Electric is building the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area. Construction has begun on a 23-MW facility that will feature more than 200,000 solar panels on 106 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. That solar project will be the largest ever built by Tampa Electric and will have the capacity to power more than 3,300 homes.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.