FPL to conduct three energy storage pilot programs

Written By: Stratton Report
June 16, 2016

FPL Main

On June 16, Florida Power & Light Company announced a new energy storage pilot project designed to test multiple applications of advanced battery technologies under real-life conditions.

FPL will install several different types of battery systems at locations in the southern Florida counties of Miami-Dade and Monroe to research a range of potential future benefits of energy storage, including grid reliability and power quality. In addition, the research has the potential to improve the integration of renewables in the future as FPL continues to expand its use of solar energy.

Eric Silagy, the company’s president and CEO noted:

“FPL is one of the cleanest, most affordable energy providers in the nation because of our persistent commitment to investing in the future. We are always looking long-term, and we recognize that energy storage has enormous potential for both the reliability of the grid and the advancement of affordable clean energy.”

FPL’s energy storage pilot program will look at various applications of battery technologies to study potential benefits. The project will include repurposing used “second-life” batteries from more than 200 BMW electric vehicles to test “peak shaving” for better grid management during periods of high demand via a storage system to be installed in a densely populated residential area in southwestern Miami. In addition, it will involve designing a mobile storage system that could be relocated as needed to prevent power interruptions at major, economically important events (e.g. nationally televised sports, etc.). FPL plans to build the portable battery system in time for testing during the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on the island of Key Biscayne. Finally, it will include building a battery back-up system in the Flamingo community of Monroe County – the southernmost tip of Everglades National Park, where a visitor center, campground and water treatment facility lie 45 miles from any other electric customer – to study ways to improve reliability for isolated areas and develop microgrid foundations.

Mike Jester, chief of facilities management for Everglades National Park noted: “Many miles from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Flamingo is the southernmost developed area in Everglades National Park, providing essential support and amenities so visitors have the opportunity to view wildlife in their natural, undisturbed setting. Because of our remote location, the concept of having clean, quiet, on-site back-up power is exciting. FPL’s project could make a big difference for us and our ability to provide uninterrupted access to this national treasure for thousands of people around the world,” said FPL expects to begin construction on the project this summer with most components in operation by the end of the year.