Florida Power & Light Company plans to build the world's largest solar-powered battery system – four times the capacity of the largest battery system in operation – as part of a modernization plan that will accelerate the retirement of two fossil fuel generation units.
Courtesy of FPL
The future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will have 409 MW of capacity – the equivalent of approximately 100 million iPhone batteries – when it begins serving customers, which is expected in late 2021, and will be charged by an existing FPL solar power plant in Manatee County.
“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," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is part of a 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.
"FPL is pioneering a clean energy revolution for our state that's come full circle for our community," said Stephen Jonsson, chairman of the board of County Commissioners in Manatee County.
"The way we generate, store, transport and use electricity is being reinvented. New technology, like large-scale battery storage, is a critical step on the path to a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy future. Achieving this outcome is critical to the well-being of our economy, our communities and our planet," said Temperince Morgan, executive director of the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
FPL also remains poised to eliminate its only remaining coal plant in Florida by the end of this year.
The future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is the latest chapter of the company's development of battery storage technology. For many years, FPL and its sister companies have researched battery storage technology to study a variety of potential benefits, from reliability and grid stabilization to improved solar integration. In 2018, FPL unveiled the largest combined operating solar and storage power plant at Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County, uniquely advantageous because of the ability to harness extra energy produced at solar power plants when the sun's rays are strongest. The additional solar energy and the increased predictability afforded by battery storage enables FPL to more efficiently dispatch other power plants, helping save customers on fuel costs while reducing emissions.