Florida utility plans world’s largest battery combined with solar

by Tom Kenning, Energy Storage

Major US utility Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is planning to build the world’s largest battery energy storage system adjacent to an existing solar power plant, with plans to roll out multiple other storage systems across the state.

With the key proposed battery standing at 409MW capacity, the Florida energy company claims it will be four times larger than the largest battery currently operating worldwide. Furthermore, the system will help reduce fossil fuel usage and thereby accelerate the decommissioning of two neighbouring, 1970s-era natural gas power units.

The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will be powered by an existing PV plant in Parrish, Manatee County, and capable of distributing 900MWh of electricity. It will start serving customers in 2021, with the batteries being used particularly during peak demand periods, thereby reducing the requirement for electricity from other power plants. It will be able to provide energy the equivalent of 329,000 homes for a period of two hours, saving FPL customers more than US$100 million in the process.

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FPL plans to add 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030

by Marcia Heroux, Sun Sentinel

Florida Power & Light Co. announced a major solar plan Wednesday, vowing to install more than 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030.

The goal is to make Florida a “world leader in the production of solar energy,” the Juno Beach-based electric utility says.

FPL said it has secured solar sites across the state to build solar energy centers, and some will be in South Florida. They include two 74.5-megawatt solar energy centers in Palm Beach County, each with about 310,000 solar panels, according to FPL spokesman Chris McGrath.

The program would increase solar energy to about 20 percent of FPL’s energy mix by 2030. It’s about 1 percent now, according to the utility, which uses mostly natural gas and nuclear energy.

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