January 25, 2020
Duke Energy plans to use lithium-ion battery technology for power grids

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Duke's move is its biggest foray into battery storage.

Energy

Duke Energy plans to use lithium-ion battery technology for power grids

Art Levy | 8/26/2019

Duke is building battery-storage stations to bolster its power grid.

Duke Energy Florida is planning to use the same lithium-ion battery technology that power most cell phones and laptops to supplement its power grid in parts of Florida and allow for quicker recovery from short-term power outages.

The St. Petersburg-based utility, which has about 1.8 million customers in Florida, plans to build battery stations throughout its service area to eventually store a combined 50 megawatts of power. Work on the first three stations, which will store a combined 22 megawatts by next year, is underway, including an 11-megawatt facility in Gilchrist County, about 30 miles west of Gainesville, a 5.5-megawatt facility about 40 miles southeast of Panama City in Gulf County and a 5.5-megawatt station in Jennings, near the Florida-Georgia border in Hamilton County.

Adam Nygaard, a Duke Energy business development manager, says the locations of the remaining stations — to store another 28 megawatts of power — will be announced later. Those stations, he says, should be online by the end of 2021. The entire program is estimated to cost less than $115 million.

While the lithium-ion technology isn’t new, Nygaard says the project is Duke Energy Florida’s biggest foray into battery storage. He says it’s part of a plan to harden the power grid, particularly in areas prone to outages. The battery power, apart from being used in response to outages, will also help the grid maintain a steady power supply, even during peak power-use times.

“I think it’s going to help us make the grid more reliable, more efficient,” he says

Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.

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