Solar + storage in Florida

What is solar + battery storage?

Solar systems with battery backup can provide individuals and communities with much needed resiliency in the face of natural disasters.

Progress in Florida

  • The SunSmart E-Shelters Program, coordinated by University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center, has installed more than 115, 10 kW photovoltaic systems on emergency shelter schools throughout the state. These schools can provide electricity, lighting, heating and cooling, electric charging stations, and other amenities to the public if a natural disaster disables the electric grid. What’s more, they do so at a cost of less than $100,000 per school.
  • Miami Beach is seeking solar + storage to power the city’s emergency pump system. At present the diesel-powered, back-up generators provide a maximum of 24 hours’ worth of fuel to support continuous pump operation. These pumps help mitigate flooding throughout the city and are critical during King Tide, sunny-day flooding, and post hurricane. Costs pose a challenge.
  • Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is 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.
  • FPL is designing a mobile storage system that could be relocated where needed to prevent power interruptions at major, economically important events (e.g., nationally televised sports). 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.
  • FPL is 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. They will study ways to improve reliability for isolated areas and develop microgrid foundations.

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Florida resources

  • SunSmart E-Shelters Program – In the face of a natural disaster, Florida has developed the SunSmart E-Shelter Program, a solar + storage emergency shelter program available in 115 public schools across the state.
  • Florida public power entities to participate in solar, storage research effort – The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative awarded Florida Alliance for Accelerating Solar and Storage Technology Readiness, FMEA, Nhu Energy, and the Florida Energy Office a $1.75M grant to increase the growth of solar energy in Florida by developing new ways to use it in combination with energy storage and other resources

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