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FPL plans on using a nearby solar farm to charge its new battery system.[/caption]
Construction is underway on the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Manatee Energy Storage Center, which is expected to open in late 2021 as the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system.
The battery system is expected to have a 409-megawatt capacity, delivering 900 megawatt-hours of energy. The project is part of a modernization plan that is expected to accelerate the retirement of two 1970s-era natural gas units at a neighboring power plant.
Located in Parrish, Florida, the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will store extra energy produced by the nearby FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center when the sun’s rays are strongest and send that energy to the grid when there is a higher demand for electricity.
FPL has historically replaced old, oil or coal-burning plants with highly efficient energy centers that run on clean, U.S.-produced natural gas.
Now, as the cost of battery and solar technology continues to decline, FPL is modernizing its fleet and tearing down two aging natural gas units. 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 capacity formerly generated by the two aging units that are being retired.
“Despite the numerous challenges of 2020, our employees have never lost focus on our fundamental duty to look over the horizon and ensure we’re building a more sustainable and resilient energy future for Florida,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “The Manatee Energy Storage Center won’t just exceed industry records, it will also be a major win for FPL customers and our beautiful state – cutting emissions, saving customers millions and enabling us to deliver more reliable, clean energy, even when the sun’s not shining. Bringing the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery to Florida showcases to the world our state’s engineering and hi-tech capabilities and is yet another example of FPL’s relentless focus on challenging the status quo and embracing innovative technology to deliver America’s best energy value.”
“A clean energy revolution is sweeping the Sunshine State and FPL is making smart investments to move it forward,” said at-large Manatee County Commissioner, Carol Whitmore. “We’re very proud of the important part Manatee County played since the early days of FPL’s solar expansion when the company opened a solar power plant in Parrish in 2016. And we’re proud that Manatee County will now be home to the largest integrated solar-powered battery system in the world.”