FPL creates largest solar-plus-storage system in US


Florida Power & Light (FPL) has announced the integration of 10MW/40MWh battery energy storage system with an existing 74,5MW solar plant.

The energy storage system will be sited at the utility’s Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center developed in 2016 in Charlotte County, Florida.

The energy storage system will store energy generated at the solar centre for supply into the main grid to meet demand during times when generation at the solar facility is low or when demand on the main network is high.

The development of the storage system is part of a proposal filed in 2016 by FPL to reduce consumer bills through expanding energy storage and renewable energy portfolios.

FPL applied to add 50MW of energy storage capacity. The proposal was approved by state’s consumer advocate and approved unanimously by the Florida Public Service Commission.

In total, FPL and its parent company NextEra Energy own and operate 140MW/150MW/h of storage capacity.

Expanding its renewable energy portfolio has helped FPL reduce its customer bills to be 30% lower than the national average.

“FPL has been an outstanding partner in our mission to make Babcock Ranch the most innovative, sustainable town in the nation. Improving technologies for energy storage are moving us ever closer to our goal of full reliance on clean, renewable energy. As home to the largest solar-plus-storage system operating in America, we are proud to be leading the way,” said Syd Kitson, chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners and founder of the town of Babcock Ranch.

Florida and solar energy

“FPL is building an incredible amount of solar power cost-effectively so we can bring the economic and environmental benefits to all of our customers while keeping their bills among the lowest in the nation. At the same time, we continue to innovate every single day, and the new system we unveiled today is a shining example of how we’re changing the current,” adds Eric Silagy, CEO of FPL.

The news follows FPL being ranked ninth in the nation for solar resources. The company currently operates 14 solar plants, a development helping help FPL to reduce its carbon emissions.

Between 2016 and 2023, the utility targets to install over 10 million solar panels with 3.5 million having been installed in the last two years.

The energy company has plans to increase its solar capacity through the construction of four 74.5MW solar plants through to 2019.

The four solar plants combined will generate energy enough to power 60,000 homes per annum and help consumers save $40 million over their operational lifetime.

The construction of the four plants is expected to employ 200 people and 800 jobs.