WINTER HAVEN — TECO has applied for regulatory approval to build its third solar energy facility in Polk County and has two more in the pipeline.
The third facility, Bonnie Mine Solar, will be built on a 352-acre former phosphate mine east of Bonnie Mine Road and south of State Road 60 between Mulberry and Bartow.
Because it’s not near a residential area, the Bonnie Mine project requires only administrative approval by the county Office of Planning and Development, said Erik Peterson, a planner.
That could take 30 to 90 days, he said.
Bonnie Mine would generate 34 megawatts of power, said Cherie Jacobs, a TECO spokeswoman.
“If all goes well, construction will be completed by the end of the year,” she said.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, an industry trade group, estimates one megawatt of solar power would provide enough energy in Florida for about 125 homes per year, or 4,250 homes for Bonnie Mine. TECO serves 83,500 customers in Auburndale, Eagle Lake, Lake Alfred, Mulberry, Polk City and Winter Haven. [click for full article]