Florida Power & Light Unveils First Solar Power Plant Storage System in the US
Florida Power & Light recently unveiled the country’s first fully integrated battery system with a major solar power plant in a way that will increase the plant’s total energy output.
By adding the battery storage to their Citrus Solar Energy Center, a solar plant built in 2016, they are expecting to be able to add an additional half million kilowatt-hours per year to the electrical grid.
“Every day, we work on new ways to better serve our customers with technology innovations and efficiency improvements. That’s how we continue to set the standard for advancing clean energy affordably – including building solar power plants at a lower cost than anybody. Now, with advances in battery storage technologies, we are looking at the next level,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, at an event with environmental and community leaders in DeSoto County.
The new batteries feature a 4,000 kilowatt/16,000 kilowatt-hours storage capacity and are composed of multiple batteries integrated into the operations at the Citrus Solar Energy Center.
The storage system has the potential to harness millions of kilowatt-hours of solar energy that would otherwise be lost. It will also improve the predictability of solar energy which is one of its biggest downfalls.
Solar power plants can’t generate as much energy on cloudy days or any energy at night when the sun is not shinning. With this new battery storage, Citrus Solar Energy Center will be able to store more energy and dispatch it to the grid at night or on cloudy days when they don’t generate as much solar power.
FPL is in the midst of one of the largest solar expansions ever in the eastern U.S. with more than 520 megawatts – 3.5 million new solar panels – added in the last two years alone and nearly 300 megawatts more scheduled to enter service by March 1. From 2016 to 2023, FPL expects to install a total of more than 10 million solar panels. These advancements continue to improve FPL’s carbon emissions profile, which is already approximately 30 percent cleaner than the U.S. industry average.
Moreover, FPL’s eight newest solar plants combined are projected to generate more than $100 million in net savings, over and above the cost of construction, for FPL customers. Investments like these help FPL keep rates low for customers over the long term.