NextEra's Unit to Set Up Largest Solar Power Storage Center

NextEra Energy Inc. ‘s NEE subsidiary — Florida Power & Light Company (“FPL”) — will construct the world's largest solar-powered battery system, The FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center.  The initiative is in sync with thecompany’s innovative modernization plan to expedite the retirement of two fossil fuel generation units and replace them with clean energy.

Also, FPL plans to install smaller battery across the state, numerous solar power plants. The unit will upgrade existing combustion turbines at other power plants to replace 1,638 megawatts of generating capacity. The project will enable customers to save more than $100 million and eliminate above 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Details of the Storage Center

The storage center is estimated to have a generation capacity of 409 megawatts (MW), which is four times the capacity of the largest battery system in operation.This battery systemwill be charged by an existing FPL solar power plant in Manatee County andis expected to begin serving customers from late 2021.

FPL will supply energy from this center’s batteries when there is higher demand for electricity, , thereby reducing emissions and saving customers’ money by avoiding fuel costs.

Rationale Behind the Plan

Oversupply of power in the grids is a major challenge for the solar industry. Consequently, the market for solar power storage is booming. Moreover, tumbling costs of utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage systems is projected to significantly boost the electricity sector. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) Long-Term Energy Storage Outlook predicts that prices will decline 52% between 2018 and 2030, which will add to the steep declines witnessed during this decade.

Such factors are likely to boost prospects in the solar energy storage market.Evidently, BNEF’s analysts expect more than $600 billion will be invested in the sector between 2018 and 2040.  In order to make the most of this opportunity, solar industry participants are undertaking efforts to innovate and integrate storage technology into their existing solar solutions.

We believe that FPL’s latest announcement is in line with the aforementioned strategy. Other players in the solar space are also following suite.

In 2018, First Solar FSLR announced that it is partnering with Arizona Public Service (APS) — subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital PNW — to develop a 50-megawatt (MW) solar-fueled battery project in the state.

In November 2018, SunPower SPWR entered into an agreement with Cabot Corporation to install a solar project of 1.12 MW along with a 470-kilowatt integrated energy storage system in the Cabot's Business and Technology Center in Billerica, MA.

Zacks Rank & Price Movement

NextEra currently has a Zacks Rank #3(Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of the company have gained 20.7% in the past 12 months compared with the industry’s rise of 16.2%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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