Duke Energy Florida to add 30 MW of energy storage to power portfolio

Duke Energy Florida will add 30 MW of energy storage to its portfolio with three separate installations.

The battery sites will be located at Duke Energy’s Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County, John Hopkins Middle School in Pinellas County, and southwest of Gainesville in Alachua County. The sites will play an important role in supporting public safety during significant weather events, as well as addressing overall electric grid efficiency and reliability.

“Batteries are an exciting technology that allows us to bring more renewables onto the grid and support resiliency in our communities,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. “These projects help us determine the best uses so that when battery storage technology becomes even more cost-competitive, as it is projected to do, we can deploy them quickly for the benefit of our customers.”

The versatility of battery storage technology allows Duke Energy, as the grid manager and operator, to maximize benefits to customers and the grid.

  • An 18-MW lithium battery site will be built at the company’s 45-MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant, which came online in December 2019. The addition of 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-MW 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 solar + 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-MW solar parking canopy array and a 2.5-MW 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.

“Duke Energy’s new battery energy storage project will provide students at John Hopkins Middle School with a real-life lesson about solar energy and the need to protect our environment by seeking alternative methods of generating electricity,” said Clint Herbic, associate superintendent of operational services for Pinellas County Schools. “It also will be a critical addition for our county’s residents, as the school also serves as a Special Needs Hurricane Shelter.”

The battery sites will serve customer electric needs, increase energy security and complement other electric resources on the grid. All three sites are on track to be completed by the end of 2021. Along with three other battery installations announced last year in Gulf, Columbia and Gilchrist counties, these sites will fulfill Duke Energy Florida’s pledge to customers to add 50 MW of energy storage by 2022.

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