World's largest solar battery coming to Manatee County
MANATEE COUNTY-Florida Power and Light continues to build up solar facilities across the state with a new way to store the energy collected. The world’s largest solar battery is coming to Manatee County at the end of 2021.
“Everybody’s concerned about the future and alternative energy,” Buchanan said. “This is going to move us in that direction, today you’ve got solar panels, but no technology to store the solar.”
Florida Power and light is building a 409 Mega Watt Battery that will span 40 acre to store some of the energy.
“That’s equivalent to 100 million iPhone batteries,” FPL Spokesman Stephen Heiman said. “So as that energy is being generated, some of it is being sent to the grid, while some of it is also being sent to the battery to be stored to use at a later time.”
Currently the solar plan can power close to 15 thousand homes. The low-cost energy will soon be able to be used even when the sun sets.
“FPL customers currently have some of the lowest bills in the nation,” Heiman said. “Our customer rates are 30% below the national average, these solar plants are helping us to keep those bills among the lowest in the nation.”
The savings generated from the battery, will help offset the cost of the initial investment.
“$350 million dollar investment here is gigantic,” Buchanan said. “For not just this region, but I think in terms of where we’re moving in terms of alternative energies.”
Congressman Buchanan has introduced Bi-partisan legislation that will work to make this batter a model for the rest of the country.
“The idea is to make the investment here,” Buchanan said. “Tweak the technology, and maybe this is something we can spread out throughout the country.”