Duke Energy to add three battery energy storage sites in Florida

Duke Energy Florida plans to add three battery energy storage sites and nearly 30 megawatts to enhance power quality.

The battery storage 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.

“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,” Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president, said.

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

Duke Energy will build an 18-megawatt lithium battery site at the company’s 45-megawatt Lake Placid Solar Power Plant. The addition of battery energy storage to the 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.

Duke Energy said an 8.25-megawatt 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 3.5-megawatt solar plus 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-megawatt solar parking canopy array and a 2.5-megawatt 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 Florida said all three sites are on track to be completed by the end of 2021. Duke Energy last year announced three other battery storage installations in Gulf, Columbia and Gilchrist counties.

Duke Energy Florida aims to add 50 megawatts of battery storage by 2022.