Florida Power & Light Company has announced a plan to build the world’s largest solar-powered battery system – four times the capacity of the largest battery system in operation – as part of an innovative modernization plan that will accelerate the retirement of two fossil fuel generation units. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038. The future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will have 409 megawatts of capacity – the equivalent of approximately 100 million iPhone batteries – when it begins serving customers in late 2021 and will be charged by an existing FPL solar power plant in Manatee County.
By deploying energy from the batteries when there is higher demand for electricity, FPL will offset the need to run other power plants – further reducing emissions and saving customers money through avoided fuel costs. “This is a monumental milestone in realizing the full benefits of solar power and yet another example of how FPL is working hard to position Florida as the global gold standard for clean energy,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Even as we aggressively execute on our plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030, we never lose sight of finding innovative ways to bring our customers the benefits of solar energy, even when the sun’s not shining. Replacing a large, aging fossil fuel plant with a mega battery that’s adjacent to a large solar plant is another world-first accomplishment and while I’m very pleased of that fact, what I’m most proud of is that our team remained committed to developing this clean energy breakthrough while saving customers money and keeping their bills among the lowest in the nation.”
The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is part of an innovative modernization plan to accelerate the retirement of two, 1970s-era natural gas generating units at FPL’s neighboring power plant, and replace them with clean and renewable energy. In addition to the energy storage system in Manatee County, FPL is planning smaller battery installations across the state, numerous solar power plants and efficiency upgrades to existing combustion turbines at other power plants to replace the 1,638 megawatts of generating capacity. The project will save customers more than $100 million and eliminate more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.