NextEra builds largest solar+storage plant in USA

NextEra is one of the world’s largest owners of renewable energy, and they’re taking steps to be in the same position in the energy storage market. The company was recently discovered, per a tip from one of pv magazine’s readers, to be behind the largest energy storage bids yet received globally – and now they’re announcing the nation’s largest solar+battery storage project connected to the power grid.

FPL, a NextEra subsidiary that serves 50% of the Florida electricity market, has connected a AC-coupled 10MW/40MWh battery to their 74.5 MW-AC Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center. The solar park is located on 440 acres in central Florida and is being built in a partnership with the Babcock Ranch – a soon to be 100% renewable powered housing development.

The factsheet for the Babcock Solar Ranch can be found here (PDF).

The energy storage project, on its own, is not the largest in the United States. Currently, a 100 MWh project in Southern California Edison territory holds that honor. Other solar+storage projects that are larger have been announced. Among these, TEP announced record-setting pricing with a 100 MW solar + 30 MW/120 MW energy storage project.

The solar plant is part of a series of 74.5 MW solar plants being built to serve the Florida market. The plants are being built under the moniker of ‘Sanctuary Solar’, with support from the Audubon Society. The sites of these facility are being designed to allow a significant amount of the land to be planted with native grasses, trees, shrubs and vines. Plants are being chosen to provide food for birds and pollinators. Quality wetlands are being preserved, which also provide habitat for birds.