DADE CITY, Fla. — Tampa Electric is looking to invest $75 million with its Mountain View Solar project in Pasco County, and some neighbors in Dade City say they will fight it.
"From my children's bedroom, we can see the sunrise every morning and now we're going to be staring at solar farms every morning, instead," said Laura Myers, neighbor.
TECO says a 55 megawatt solar facility is planned for a 350-acre site in eastern Pasco County. It would be located on both sides of Blanton Road. The land is currently zoned for agricultural use. Tampa Electric would require a "special exception" to build the solar project.
Neighbors say they do not want a solar farm in their backyard. They worry it could lower their property values.
"We were all stunned. We all went to our neighbors and nobody knew about it," added Myers.
Neighbors plan to fight this project together.
"I have no problem with solar. I think renewables are fine, but my God, let's use our head, why in the world would you come to his area and do that?" said neighbor Charles Ashford.
Tampa Electric sent neighbors a letter notifying them about the project. The project could be completed by the end of the year.
TECO says its investing $850 million in 10 solar projects by the end of 2021. Customers could see a slight increase on their monthly bills once the projects are completed, about a dollar per project.
"I'm not too upset about solar panels because I think it's the future, but not here on this piece of property," said Carol Cruz, neighbor.
TECO is holding a neighborhood meeting about this project from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus, Conference Facility, 36727 Blanton Road, Dade City 33523.