In Manatee County, Florida, the world's largest solar battery is nearing completion. The solar-powered battery, built by Florida Power and Light, sits on 40 acres of land and can harvest solar energy from locations such as the Manatee Solar Energy Center during the day. The stored energy is used to power nearly 330,000 households in Desoto and Manatee counties on days when solar energy is not as bright or at night. The $ 300 million battery will have a capacity of 409 MW and upon completion, Florida Power and Light will be able to decommission the existing power plant, a project that will save $ 50 million and reduce carbon emissions by nearly $ 1 Million tons.
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The construction of the FPL battery is part of a larger effort by the solar company to increase solar power consumption on Florida's electrical grid. In 2005, about 70% of all energy Florida Power and Light produced came from oil. To reduce those numbers, Florida Power and Light set a goal in 2018 of installing 30 million solar panels by 2030, and the company is 40% on the way. They are also working on pilot programs that would allow battery storage trailers to be used to help motorists refuel electric vehicles during power outages like a storm.
“For nearly 100 years, any utility company would instantly produce all of the energy it needs and it would be consumed instantly in other parts of the system. Finally, with this project and a few others on a large scale, we're starting to save energy for later. We are in West Palm Beach with this pilot project. We can move these followers through the state. Imagine a local power outage or evacuation of a certain area due to a storm, we can move these trailers, preposition them, and the drivers can pull up, charge their car and then move on, “said Matt Valle, vice president of development at Florida Power and Light.
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