TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida will receive $5 million from Tampa Electric to fund research, education and innovation that aims to reduce carbon and improve the environment in the Tampa Bay region, the university announced on Wednesday.
The funds will be put into an endowed fund to support the Clean Energy Research Center in USF's college of engineering.
“This partnership is a key pillar in our vision to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric, said. “We have made great progress: Carbon emissions today are half what they were in 2000, and our investment in solar power has reduced fuel costs by more than $100 million this year."
Since the year 2000, Tampa Electric has reduced coal usage by more than 90 percent, the university said. Tampa Electric has cut carbon dioxide emissions in half – even while the demand for power has increased 25 percent.
"Renewable energy resources provide substantial benefits to our society, economy and overall health through job development and creation, and reduced carbon emissions and pollution," Robert H. Bishop, dean of the USF college of engineering, said.
This contribution will reportedly be the largest single outright gift to the college. However, the partnership will not be the first time the two entities have joined together.
"The university has worked with TECO on other clean-energy solutions, such as carbon sequestration, electric vehicles, smart grid technology and solar array efficiency," USF said.