- Florida Power & Light has added a 10 MW / 40 MWh battery to its existing 74.5 MW Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, creating what the utility believes to be the largest solar-plus-storage installation in the United States.
- It is also the second such project FPL has unveiled in an many months. In February the utility announced it had installed a 4 MW / 16 MWh storage system at its Citrus Solar Energy Center, which was completed in 2016.
- Following an agreement the Florida Public Service Commission approved in 2016, FPL intends to develop 50 MW of battery storage over the next few years.
With storage increasingly seen as a way to boost renewable output, FPL is doubling back and adding batteries to some existing plants, as part of its growing interest in storage.
Two years ago the utility commissioned several battery-storage pilot projects to test various applications, and those pilots are now going on in several parts of Florida including at the Everglades National Park's Flamingo Visitor Center. The battery added to the Citrus solar plant is expected to increase its annual output by 500,000 kWh.
FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said the utility "is building an incredible amount of solar power cost-effectively." The energy stored at the Babcock facility will be dispatched when the plant's output dips or in times of peak demand.
FPL currently operates 14 solar plants and recently announced its next four projects, which are expected online by spring 2019. The projects include: the Interstate Solar Energy Center, in St. Lucie County; Miami-Dade Solar Energy Center, in Miami-Dade County; Pioneer Trail Solar Energy Center, in Volusia County; and the Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center, in Columbia County.
All of the plants are 74.5 MW and are expected to produce net savings of $40 million for a variety of reasons including system fuel savings over their operational lifetimes. In total, FPL has 930 MW of solar generation online now.
FPL expects to begin construction later this year on its latest plants, creating 800 construction jobs.