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Battery Storage

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Duke Energy Florida expands its battery storage projects to include special needs shelter and first utility solar pairing

Duke Energy Florida (DEF) plans to add six battery energy storage sites and more than 50 megawatts to enhance and support power quality, overall reliability and critical services during outages.

Collectively, the storage facilities will provide important backup generation during power outages, a service that is becoming increasingly important with the number and intensity of storms that have recently impacted the state.

As the grid manager and operator, DEF can maximize the versatility of battery technology to include multiple customer and electric system benefits such as balancing energy demand, managing intermittent resources, increasing energy security and deferring traditional power grid upgrades.

The versatility of battery storage technology allows Duke Energy to maximize benefits to customers and the grid. These benefits help reduce costs for customers and increase operational efficiencies.

The six projects include:
  • An 18-megawatt lithium battery site will be built at the company's 45-megawatt Lake Placid Solar Power Plant, which came online in December 2019. The addition of battery energy storage to the utility-scale solar plant will be the first of its kind for Duke Energy Florida. It will allow solar energy to be dispatchable for Duke Energy Florida grid operators and improve overall plant efficiency.

  • An 8.25-megawatt Micanopy lithium battery site will be located 15 miles southwest of Gainesville in Alachua County. The battery storage site provides a cost-effective solution for focused power quality and reliability for the town of Micanopy and nearby neighbors.

  • A 3.5-megawatt solar plus storage microgrid site will be added at Pinellas County's John Hopkins Middle School. The microgrid will support grid operations and provide backup electric power to the school when it must operate as a special need's hurricane evacuation shelter. The microgrid consists of a 1-megawatt solar parking canopy array and a 2.5-megawatt battery and controls, which will store and deploy clean, renewable energy to the school and grid. The project enhances electric service and grid operations for customers.

  • An 11-megawatt Trenton lithium-based battery facility will be located 30 miles west of Gainesville in Gilchrist County. The energy storage project will continue to improve power reliability using newer technologies.

  • A 5.5-megawatt Cape San Blas lithium-based battery facility will be located approximately 40 miles southeast of Panama City in Gulf County. The project will provide additional power capacity to meet our customers' increasing demand for energy. This project is an economical alternative to replacing distribution equipment necessary to accommodate local load growth.

  • A 5.5-megawatt Jennings lithium-based battery facility will be located 1.5 miles south of the Florida-Georgia border in Hamilton County. The project will continue to improve power reliability through energy storage as an alternative solution to installing new and more costly distribution equipment.

Duke Energy Florida's continued investment in battery energy storage reflects the company's belief that energy storage plays a significant and evolving role in how energy is delivered to customers now and in the future. Through energy storage and microgrids, the utility can enable the integration of more renewables onto the grid and help improve reliability and security while keeping costs affordable for customers.

The battery sites will serve customer electric needs, increase energy security and complement other electric resources on the grid. All six projects are on track to be completed in 2021.

Additional renewables projects

As part of Duke Energy Florida's commitment to renewables, the company is investing an estimated $1 billion to construct or acquire a total of 700 megawatts of cost-effective solar power facilities and 50 megawatts of battery storage through 2022.

Duke Energy is leading the industry in how battery technology is used on the grid. In 2018, the company and University of South Florida St. Petersburg unveiled a 250-kilowatt Tesla battery that is connected to a 100-kilowatt solar array and electric vehicle charging stations – the first of its kind in Florida.

This solar-battery microgrid system manages the energy captured by the solar array, situated on top of the university's parking garage. The solar array plus storage was completed through a $1 million grant from Duke Energy. The microgrid provides a backup power source during an outage for the parking garage elevator, lights and the electric vehicle charging stations. Learn more.

In addition to expanding its battery storage technology and solar investments, Duke Energy Florida is investing in transportation electrification to support the growing U.S. adoption of electric vehicles. The company also is investing in 530 electric vehicle charging stations and a modernized power grid to deliver the diverse and reliable energy solutions customers want and need.