Duke Energy Florida Celebrates National Clean Energy Week With Significant Accomplishments

Sep 27, 2021 9:55 AM ET
Press Release
  • Statewide $2 billion solar investment.
  • Approximately 600 electric vehicle chargers installed.
  • Six energy storage sites; 50-megawatt battery commitment.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., September 27, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Duke Energy Florida is celebrating National Clean Energy Week by delivering on its commitment to expand its clean energy portfolio.

“From solar sites to energy storage, electric vehicle chargers and microgrids, we are transforming the energy landscape in Florida,” said Duke Energy Florida state president Melissa Seixas. “We’ve heard from our customers that generating cleaner energy and offering environmentally friendly options are important to them, and this week we are pleased to note significant milestones on the road to a smarter energy future.”

Solar generation commitment

Since the late 1980s, Duke Energy has been advancing solar technologies in Florida. The Company is well on its way to a major milestone by completing 10 new solar projects by 2022. Seven of those facilities are already in service, while the remaining three are being built.

The 74.9-megawatt (MW) Sandy Creek Solar Power Plant is expected to be finished by spring 2022. The facility will complete Duke Energy Florida’s $1 billion investment to provide customers with 700 MW of clean energy.

Further, the company proudly announced an additional 750 MW of solar generation this year to be completed between 2022 through 2024. This represents another $1 billion investment and adds 10 new solar sites. The location of six sites have been announced, with another four sites expected to be chosen in 2022.

Through reduction in the use of fossil fuels, these 10 most recent projects are projected to lower the emission of global warming gases such as CO2 at an average rate of over 700,000 tons per year.

With a combined investment of over $2 billion, Duke Energy Florida’s solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants which will benefit all Florida customers and will provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation and approximately 5 million solar panels in the ground by 2024.

Video of installation of 1 millionth solar panel at Columbia Solar Power Plant

Video of Columbia plant, from drone

Battery energy storage systems

By 2022, Duke Energy is expected to have six battery sites in operation in Florida, totaling more than 50 MW of energy storage. Five of the six sites are expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

Duke Energy’s energy storage plays a significant and evolving role in how energy is delivered to customers now and in the future. Through energy storage and microgrids, the Company can enable the integration of more renewables onto the grid and help improve reliability and security while keeping costs affordable for customers.

  • The company’s first utility-scale solar plus battery project, which will consist of 45 MW of solar and 18 MW of battery storage, is expected to be completed later this year at the Lake Placid Solar Power Plant and Battery Energy Storage System site.
     
  • An 11-MW lithium-based battery energy storage system located 30 miles west of Gainesville in Trenton, Fla. is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. The system will continue to improve power reliability using newer technologies.
     
  • An 8.25-MW lithium-based battery energy storage system is under construction in the town of Micanopy, Fla. The system provides a cost-effective solution for focused power quality and reliability for the town and nearby neighbors. It is anticipated to be operational by late 2021.
     
  • A 5.5-MW lithium-based battery energy storage system located in Cape San Blas, Fla., will provide additional power capacity to meet our customers’ increasing demand for energy. This project is an economical alternative to replacing distribution equipment to accommodate local growth.
     
  • The 5.5-MW Jennings, Fla., lithium-based battery system will continue to improve power reliability through energy storage as an alternative and affordable solution to installing new and more costly distribution equipment.
     
  • A 3.5-MW microgrid of solar-plus storage is underway at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, Fla, which also operates as a special needs emergency shelter for Pinellas County. The system is expected to be in operation mid-2022.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging

Duke Energy launched the Park & Plug pilot program in 2018 to expand access to EV charging stations. Since that time, approximately 600 EV chargers have been added in public spaces and thoroughfares in Florida.

These easily accessible locations across Florida include:

  • Over 178 public level 2 chargers at local businesses.
     
  • 41 DC Fast Chargers in public locations.
     
  • Over 214 level 2 chargers in multi-unit dwellings.
     
  • Over 157 level 2 chargers in workplaces.

The DC Fast Chargers are in strategic locations connecting major and key secondary corridors and evacuation routes in Florida. This creates critical infrastructure needed for EV adoption and helps reduce range anxiety.

  • US 19/98 Corridor – Units installed at Apalachicola, Dunedin, Crystal River and Perry. These are currently the only Fast Chargers connecting St. Petersburg to Tallahassee.
     
  • US 98 – Two units installed in Chiefland.
     
  • US 27 Corridor – Units installed in Sebring, Avon Park and Cagan's Crossing.
     
  • I-4 Corridor – Units installed in Deltona, Champions Gate and US 27 Exit.
     
  • Florida Turnpike – Units installed at the Wildwood Exit, Turkey Lake Service Plaza and Canoe Creek Service Plaza.

To find EV chargers near you, visit the Greenlots app.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Ana Gibbs
Cell: 813.928.7263
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