FPL begins construction – largest integrated solar-powered battery system

JUNO BEACH, FL (STL.News) Florida Power & Light Company announced today that construction has begun on the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center, which is expected to shatter industry records as the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, capable of powering Disney World for approximately seven hours.

Located in Parrish, Fla., the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is expected to begin serving customers in late 2021 by storing extra energy produced by the nearby FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center when the sun’s rays are strongest 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, such as at night or on a cloudy day.  By deploying energy from the batteries when there is a higher demand for electricity, FPL will offset the need to run other power plants – further reducing emissions and saving customers more than $100 million through avoided fuel costs over the life of the project.

“Despite the numerous challenges of 2020, our employees have never lost focus on our fundamental duty to look over the horizon and ensure we’re building a more sustainable and resilient energy future for Florida,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy.  “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.”

This world-leading integrated solar-powered battery system will create 70 new jobs during peak construction and is a key piece in an innovative modernization plan to accelerate the retirement of two aging 1970s-era natural gas units at the neighboring power plant.  This cutting-edge approach is projected to save FPL customers more than $100 million and eliminate more than one million carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the project.  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 capacity formerly generated by the two aging units that are being retired.

“A clean energy revolution is sweeping the Sunshine State and FPL is making smart investments to move it forward,” said at-large Manatee County Commissioner, Carol Whitmore.  “We’re very proud of the important part Manatee County played since the early days of FPL’s solar expansion when the company opened a solar power plant in Parrish in 2016.  And we’re proud that Manatee County will now be home to the largest integrated solar-powered battery system in the world.”