City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

Flamenco guitarist Nathan Herrera will perform at the Lakeland Public Library (100 Lake Morton Drive) in the library’s main seating area on Wednesday, September 28th at 7pm.  The hour-long program features music by Herrera accompanied by flamenco dancers.

Herrera has also studied locally with guitarist Jose Maria Moreno, in Miami with Paco Fonta, and with maestro Juan Diego.  He studied flamenco guitar and percussion in Seville, Spain with Juan Nunez.  He has participated in master classes with Pepe Romero, LA Guitar Quartet, Adam Del Monte, and Oscar Guzman. 

Nathan Herrera performs throughout the Southeast and in New York as well as internationally.  Mr. Herrera created the show American Gypsies with dancer Sandra Serrano which toured central Florida in 2006.  He has worked with various dance companies such as Oasis Flamenco, Flamencos Unidos, and the Florida Dance Theatre.  Alegria (2005), Herrera’s debut CD, is available at,, and

To find out more about Nathan Herrera, visit and

The programs at the Lakeland Public Library (100 Lake Morton Drive) are free and open to the public. For more information, call Brenda J. Patterson at (863) 834-4276 or send e-mail to




Kevin Cook
Director of Communications | City of Lakeland
228 S. Massachusetts Ave.  Lakeland, FL 33801



LAKELAND, FL (September 19, 2011) - The Lakeland City Commission voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers 75 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after October 3rd.  The new fuel charge will be $49.90 per 1,000 kWh.  As of October 3rd, Lakeland Electric residential customers will pay $109.42 for 1,000 kWh of electricity.


Past                 New Rates – Effective October 1, 2011

Base Rate        $59.52                                     $59.52

Fuel Charge    $50.65                                     $49.90

TOTAL:            $110.17                                  $109.42


With the decrease in the fuel charge, Lakeland Electric rates remain the 5th lowest out of the 37 utilities serving Florida residential customers and the 4th lowest in Florida for large commercial customers.  After listening to a staff presentation at the September 19, 2011 Utility Committee Meeting, the Lakeland Electric Utility Committee recommended to decrease the current fuel charge based on favorable natural gas prices.

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through to customers. 

The Utility Committee also voted unanimously to reduce the environmental compliance charge by 4% from $2.559 to $2.456 per 1,000 kWh. This vote was also passed by the City Commission during the September 19, 2011 meeting. Environmental Compliance Charges are directly related to federal and state initiatives regarding clean air and water mandates. Most of the expenses are related to energy production and include air emission controls, water quality monitoring and capital spending for equipment necessary to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act. 

Visit for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.




Thom Grenkowski
Food and Beverage Manager
Cleveland Heights Golf Course

Cleveland Heights Presents Music at the Heights


LAKELAND, FL (September 19, 2011) – Cleveland Heights Golf Course will play host to guitarist Michael Bell and his band for Music at the Heights on Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Bell and friends bring a fusion of rock and roll, blues, and country music and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. There will be no cover charge for the event.

The Music at the Heights series features local artists on the last Thursday of each month in Rueben’s Lounge at the golf course, located at 2900 Buckingham Ave. For more information about this event or future Music at the Heights events, contact Thom Grenkowski at (863) 834-2326.


Solar Farm to be deployed in alliance with SunEdison is expected to generate more than 217 Million kWh of energy over 25 years

LAKELAND, FL (September 14, 2011) – City of Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, Lakeland Electric and officials from SunEdison, celebrated the groundbreaking of a 5.5 megawatt solar power plant at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Once completed the 5.5 MW solar farm is expected to generate more 217 million kilowatt hours of energy over 25 years—enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes for a year.

The 5.5MW photovoltaic solar farm will be deployed in two phases and will be comprised of more than 24,000 solar modules.  The project is made possible through a strategic power purchase agreement between Lakeland Electric and SunEdison, a global leader in solar energy services. Through the agreement, SunEdison will deploy, own, operate and maintain the solar farm with no upfront costs required from Lakeland Electric. In return, Lakeland electric will purchase the energy produced at predictable rates for 25 years.

“Environmental stewardship is important to our community, to Lakeland City leadership and to Lakeland Electric. It is vital that every utility consider carefully how to meet the increasing needs of their customers and do it in a way that is fiscally and environmentally prudent. Deploying utility-scale solar with no upfront costs is a win-win for Lakeland. This is our second solar project with SunEdison and we look forward to our continued partnership, working with them to develop solar energy into our generation inventory,” noted Jim Stanfield, General Manager for Lakeland Electric.  He added, “It is important that utilities like Lakeland Electric diversify their supply portfolio with renewable resources to reduce exposure to the fossil fuels market. This project along with others is a significant step in that direction.”

“We make affordable, utility-scaled solar a reality,” stated Robert Reichenberger, U.S. Vice President of VP of Utilities for SunEdison. “By bringing together the right people and the right technologies, SunEdison is able to help utilities across the globe realize the benefits of solar energy.”

Once both phases are completed, it is expected the solar farm will produce more than 9.8 million kWh of energy annually and roughly 217 million kWh over 25 years. The environmental attributes associated with the deployment is expected offset more than 300 million pounds of CO2 over 20 years which is equivalent to removing more than 29,000 cars off the road for a year.

The first phase of the project is expected to be operational by year’s end and phase two is expected to operational by August of 2012.

About Lakeland Electric
Lakeland Electric is a full service power provider with over 600 full-time employees and it was one of the first electric utilities in the state of Florida.  Serving over 120,000 customers, it is the third largest public power provider in Florida generating over 1,100-megawatts and operating 2000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities.  Lakeland Electric owns and operates one of the most efficient combined cycle gas units in the United States and has been on the forefront of emerging renewable energy sources.  It was one of the first utilities in the country to offer customers a solar hot water heater program over 20 years ago.  The utility continues to push toward the future with a recent roof-top solar project and now with a 40 acre, 5.5 MW solar farm.