Construction begins on world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system

Florida Power & Light Company announced that construction has begun on the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center, which is expected to become the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, according to the company.

Located in Parrish, Fla., the 409-MW/900-MWh FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is expected to begin serving customers in late 2021 by storing extra solar energy produced by the nearby 74.5-MW FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center and sending it to the grid when there is a higher demand for electricity – meaning customers will benefit from solar energy even during times when the sun is not shining. By deploying energy from the batteries when there is a higher demand for electricity, FPL aims to offset the need to run other power plants.

The company said the project will create 70 new jobs during peak construction and is projected to save FPL customers more than $100 million and eliminate more than one million carbon dioxide emissions over the project’s lifetime. FPL is also planning smaller battery installations across the state, solar power plants and efficiency upgrades to existing combustion turbines to replace the 1,638 megawatts (MW) of capacity formerly generated by two natural gas-fired units that are being retired.

The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is the latest chapter of the company’s development of battery storage technology, as FPL and its sister companies have researched and deployed smaller scale battery storage technology to study a variety of potential benefits, for many years.

FPL’s investments in battery storage technology directly complement the company’s expansion of solar energy. The company currently has 33 solar energy centers in operation, and they are on track to meet its “30-by-30” goal to install 30 million solar panels by 2030. Earlier this year, the FPL SolarTogether program launched, which is a community solar program that enables customers to lower their electric rates and bills over the long term.

FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy, said, “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.” 

“FPL isn’t just investing in a cheaper, more efficient energy grid, they are investing in the future,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of the Florida chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “New technology like large-scale battery storage is the key to a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy grid, and it is essential to the well-being of our planet. It’s wonderful to see such significant strides toward sustainability taking place right here, in Florida.” 

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Source: Renewable Energy