FPL begins construction of world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system
- The battery system is expected to have a 409-megawatt capacity, delivering 900 megawatt-hours of energy – enough to power Disney World for approximately seven hours – and will be the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system.
- This groundbreaking energy storage system is part of an innovative modernization plan that is expected to accelerate the retirement of aging natural gas units at a neighboring power plant. The plan is projected to eliminate over one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and generate over $100 million in customer savings.
- Charged by an existing, nearby FPL solar power plant, the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center’s battery system will increase the predictability of solar – extending its benefits even when the sun is not shining.
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company announced today that construction has begun on the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center, which is expected to shatter industry records as the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, capable of powering Disney World for approximately seven hours.
Located in Parrish, Fla., the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is expected to begin serving customers in late 2021 by storing extra energy produced by the nearby FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center when the sun’s rays are strongest and sending it to the grid when there is a higher demand for electricity – meaning customers will benefit from solar energy even during times when the sun is not shining, such as at night or on a cloudy day. By deploying energy from the batteries when there is a higher demand for electricity, FPL will offset the need to run other power plants – further reducing emissions and saving customers more than $100 million through avoided fuel costs over the life of the project.
“Despite the numerous challenges of 2020, our employees have never lost focus on our fundamental duty to look over the horizon and ensure we’re building a more sustainable and resilient energy future for Florida,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “The Manatee Energy Storage Center won’t just exceed industry records, it will also be a major win for FPL customers and our beautiful state – cutting emissions, saving customers millions and enabling us to deliver more reliable, clean energy, even when the sun’s not shining. Bringing the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery to Florida showcases to the world our state’s engineering and hi-tech capabilities and is yet another example of FPL’s relentless focus on challenging the status quo and embracing innovative technology to deliver America’s best energy value.”
This world-leading integrated solar-powered battery system will create 70 new jobs during peak construction and is a key piece in an innovative modernization plan to accelerate the retirement of two aging 1970s-era natural gas units at the neighboring power plant. This cutting-edge approach is projected to save FPL customers more than $100 million and eliminate more than one million carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the project. In addition to the energy storage system in Manatee County, FPL is planning smaller battery installations across the state, numerous solar power plants and efficiency upgrades to existing combustion turbines at other power plants to replace the 1,638 megawatts of capacity formerly generated by the two aging units that are being retired.
“A clean energy revolution is sweeping the Sunshine State and FPL is making smart investments to move it forward,” said at-large Manatee County Commissioner, Carol Whitmore. “We’re very proud of the important part Manatee County played since the early days of FPL’s solar expansion when the company opened a solar power plant in Parrish in 2016. And we’re proud that Manatee County will now be home to the largest integrated solar-powered battery system in the world.”
An innovative approach to modernizing power generation
For nearly two decades, FPL has methodically modernized its power generation fleet and transformed it into one of the cleanest and most efficient in the country, saving customers nearly $11 billion and eliminating more than 145 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2001. As part of the modernization program, FPL has historically replaced old, oil or coal-burning plants with highly efficient energy centers that run on clean, U.S.-produced natural gas.
Now, as the cost of battery and solar technology continues to decline and FPL has learned how to optimize the technology to best serve customers, the company is taking an innovative approach to modernizing its fleet and tearing down two aging natural gas units that have been part of Manatee County for nearly 50 years.
“FPL isn’t just investing in a cheaper, more efficient energy grid, they are investing in the future,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of the Florida chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “New technology like large-scale battery storage is the key to a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy grid, and it is essential to the well-being of our planet. It’s wonderful to see such significant strides toward sustainability taking place right here, in Florida.”
Making Florida a leader in solar energy
The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center is the latest chapter of the company’s development of battery storage technology. For many years, FPL and its sister companies have researched and deployed smaller scale battery storage technology to study a variety of potential benefits, from reliability and grid stabilization to improved solar integration. In 2018, FPL unveiled the largest combined operating solar and storage power plant at Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County, uniquely advantageous because of the ability to harness extra energy produced at solar power plants when the sun’s rays are strongest. The additional solar energy and the increased predictability afforded by battery storage enables FPL to more efficiently dispatch other power plants, helping save customers on fuel costs while reducing emissions.
FPL’s investments in battery storage technology directly complement the company’s expansion of solar energy – which has now grown into one of the largest in the world. With 33 solar energy centers currently in operation, FPL is Florida’s largest producer of solar power. FPL remains on track to meet it’s “30-by-30” goal to install 30 million solar panels by 2030, which is making Florida a global leader in solar energy production. Earlier this year, the FPL SolarTogetherTM program launched, which is the country’s largest community solar program that will enable customers to harness the power of the sun like never before, while lowering their electric rates and bills over the long term.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity produced and sold. The company serves more than 5.6 million customer accounts supporting more than 11 million residents across Florida with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2020 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Excellence Award for the fifth time in the last six years. The company was recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2020 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s control. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements concerning adjusted earnings per share expectations and future operating performance, statements concerning future dividends, and results of acquisitions. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “will,” “may result,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “potential,” “projection,” “forecast,” “predict,” “goals,” “target,” “outlook,” “should,” “would” or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and FPL and their business and financial condition are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, or may require them to limit or eliminate certain operations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or a reasonable return on invested capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy and FPL; disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions or modifications to, or elimination of, governmental incentives or policies that support utility scale renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources) or the imposition of additional tax laws, policies or assessments on renewable energy; impact of new or revised laws, regulations, interpretations or ballot or regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations and businesses; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws, guidance or policies as well as in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy and FPL resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities, retail gas distribution system in Florida and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyberattacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s business or the businesses of third parties; inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses and risk that insurance coverage does not provide protection against all significant losses; a prolonged period of low gas and oil prices could impact NextEra Energy Resources’ gas infrastructure business and cause NextEra Energy Resources to delay or cancel certain gas infrastructure projects and could result in certain projects becoming impaired; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources’ full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to manage properly or hedge effectively the commodity risk within its portfolio; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy’s ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s risk management tools associated with their hedging and trading procedures to protect against significant losses, including the effect of unforeseen price variances from historical behavior; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by NextEra Energy, including FPL; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; failure of NextEra Energy or FPL counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy or FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy’s or FPL’s information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL’s retail businesses from compromise of sensitive customer data; losses from volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy Resources’ and FPL’s ownership and operation of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures and/or reduced revenues at nuclear generation facilities of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy Resources’ or FPL’s owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses or through expected shutdown; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets or actions by third parties in connection with project-specific or other financing arrangements on NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; impairment of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s liquidity from inability of credit providers to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy’s defined benefit pension plan’s funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy’s investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to pay upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy’s performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy’s ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; the fact that the amount and timing of dividends payable on NextEra Energy’s common stock, as well as the dividend policy approved by NextEra Energy’s board of directors from time to time, and changes to that policy, are within the sole discretion of NextEra Energy’s board of directors and, if declared and paid, dividends may be in amounts that are less than might be expected by shareholders; NEP’s inability to access sources of capital on commercially reasonable terms could have an effect on its ability to consummate future acquisitions and on the value of NextEra Energy’s limited partner interest in NextEra Energy Operating Partners, LP; and effects of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on the market price of NextEra Energy’s common stock. NextEra Energy and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and other SEC filings, and this news release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this news release. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.