The Sunshine State is in the midst of a clean energy transition, and a key part could be sitting in your driveway. Today, Florida is the third-largest state in the nation for electric vehicles (EVs). EV sales have doubled in Florida over the last three years – and this growth shows no sign of slowing down. By 2025, one out of every four vehicles sold is expected to be electric. Driving an EV helps improve air quality, with 54% fewer carbon dioxide emissions per mile than the average car.
Auto manufacturers are investing heavily in new EV models that are predicted to hit the road in the near future. On top of expected new models, manufacturers have been working to improve the efficiency and density of batteries, allowing them to drive farther per charge to help eliminate range anxiety.
The work to overcome range anxiety doesn’t end with the car manufacturers. Florida Power & Light (FPL) is making important and substantial investments to install 1,000+ charging handles in more than 100 locations across the state as part of our FPL EVolution program. You may have already seen some of these new charging stations in your community at shopping centers, public parks and major highways and corridors, such as Florida’s Turnpike service plazas. In Palm Beach County, we are opening new charging stations at Lion Country Safari and Midtown PGA, further expanding our EV network across FPL service territories.
Energy storage innovation impacting your life goes far beyond an EV in your driveway. Breakthroughs in battery technologies are driving a clean energy future for all Floridians.
Renewable energy is the fastest-growing power source in the world. Here in Florida, we’re leading one of the largest solar expansions in the nation, as FPL is on track to affordably install 30 million solar panels by 2030. A key to unlocking the full potential of solar energy is battery technology. By building energy storage centers near our solar power plants, we can extend the life of solar energy into the night or when storm clouds roll over for an afternoon Florida thunderstorm.
This month, FPL will break ground on a game-changing project that will transform the energy landscape of our state: the world’s largest solar-powered battery in Manatee County. The Manatee Energy Storage Center will cover more than 40 acres and store the equivalent energy of 100 million iPhones, and will help us retire two 1970s-era fossil fuel plants while saving our customers more than $100 million.
Energy storage is making the energy grid more resilient while enhancing clean, renewable solar energy and helping more Floridians to drive electric. As battery technology improves and costs decrease, the applications for energy storage will only continue to grow – and all Floridians will benefit.
MATT VALLE, JUNO BEACH
Editor’s note: Valle is vice president of Development at Florida Power & Light Co.