Florida public power utility Orlando Utilities Commission will explore deployment of a long-duration energy storage facility as a way in which to help achieve the utility’s net-zero carbon emission goals, OUC said on Jan. 5.
The facility will be provided by Malta Inc. Malta’s storage technology converts excess electricity into thermal energy that is stored in salt and coolant. When needed, the plant regenerates gigawatt hours of electricity for residential and commercial use.
The Malta facility would be situated at OUC’s Indian River Plant in Brevard County on Florida’s East Coast.
Malta’s more than 100-megawatt utility-scale system provides more hours of energy storage than lithium-ion batteries and could provide energy storage diversity for OUC. The increased duration facility has the potential to help OUC ensure grid reliability despite the variable nature of clean and renewable energy resources like solar.
OUC’s Electric Integrated Resource Plan calls for ending the use of coal no later than 2027 and sets the utility on a course to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, with interim carbon reductions of 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2040.
Pairing Malta’s energy storage system with OUC’s growing investment in solar would help achieve the utility’s carbon-reduction goals while also leveraging experienced staff to operate large energy storage projects like Malta, the utility said.