Energy Storage

Fla. utility unveils plans for massive storage system with solar

Florida Power & Light on March 28 announced a plan to build what it said would be the world's largest solar-powered battery system as part of a plan that will accelerate the retirement of two fossil fuel generation units.

The investor-owned utility said that the future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will begin serving customers in late 2021 and will be charged by an existing FPL solar power plant in Manatee County, Fla.

The 409-megawatt/900 megawatt-hour 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 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 utility noted.

A March 28 Bloomberg article about the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center reported that the next-largest battery in operation is a 100-MW storage project in Australia.

In terms of projects under development, Texas-based Vistra Energy in late 2018 said that the California Public Utilities Commission approved Vistra Energy’s 20-year resource adequacy contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The project features a 300-MW/1,200-MWh energy storage system.

The battery energy storage project, located on the site of its Moss Landing Power Plant in Moss Landing, California, is scheduled to begin commercial operations by the fourth quarter of 2020.

Public power utilities pursuing storage opportunities in Florida

Florida public power utilities are actively pursuing energy storage opportunities.

The Florida Municipal Electric Association and several public power utilities in the state are participating in a project that will include detailed solar energy and power system studies and analysis as part of an effort to boost the growth of solar energy in Florida. The project is the result of funding from the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative.

In late 2017, Florida public power utility Lakeland Electric said it was preparing to launch a pilot project that will use batteries to store solar power and potentially curb peak demand and lower customer bills.

Also in 2017, the board of directors for Florida-based public power utility JEA approved a battery storage incentive plan under which residential customers will be able to receive a one-time 30 percent rebate on the purchase and installation of a household battery system, up to a maximum of $2,000 per household.

The American Public Power Association provides resources on energy storage topics on its website.