Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) unveiled what it is calling the world’s largest solar-powered battery. During a commissioning ceremony last night, FPL illuminated the night sky with a light and drone show powered by the solar battery charged with power from the solar installation adjacent to the Manatee Energy Storage Center in Parrish, Florida.
“It’s been a momentous year for clean energy in Florida – FPL opened the year by formally shutting down its last coal-fired plant in the state and now we’re closing the year by shattering a world record and commissioning the largest solar-powered battery in the world,” said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO.
The newly operational battery has a 409 MW capacity and can deliver 900 MWh of energy, or enough energy to power approximately 329,000 homes for more than two hours.
During the day the battery system will store extra solar energy produced by the solar array at the Manatee Solar Energy Center. By deploying energy from the battery to the grid when there is a higher demand for electricity, FPL will offset the need to run other power plants. thus further reducing emissions and saving customers money through avoided fuel costs.
The giant battery, which is the Manatee Energy Storage Center, is made up of 132 energy storage containers, organized across a 40-acre plot of land, equivalent to 30 football fields. It is powered by a field of over 340,000 solar panels on a 751-acre site.
The Manatee Energy Storage Center is part of a broader FPL plan to retire two 1970s-era natural gas generating units. FPL’s investments in battery storage technology complement the company’s expansion of solar energy. In addition to this solar-powered battery storage facility, FPL expects to complete construction on eight more solar energy centers by early next year. By the end of the decade, FPL forecasts that nearly 40% of the company’s power will be generated by zero-emissions energy sources – a more than 65% increase from 2020.
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