ST. PETERSBURG — Duke Energy Florida announced last week three battery storage projects, totaling 22 megawatts, that will improve overall reliability and support critical services during power outages. Included in those projects is a storage facility in Jennings.

The 5.5-MW Jennings lithium-based battery facility will be located 1.5 miles south of the Florida-Georgia border in Hamilton County. The project will continue to improve power reliability through energy storage as an alternative solution to installing new and more costly distribution equipment.

Duke plans to complete the Jennings project as well as an 11-MW facility in Trenton and 5.5-MW facility in Cape San Blas, 40 miles southeast of Panama City in Gulf County.

According to Duke, the storage facilities will enhance grid operations, increase efficiencies and improve overall reliability for surrounding communities.

They will also provide important backup generation during power outages, a service that is becoming increasingly important with the number and intensity of storms that have recently impacted the state.

As the grid manager and operator, DEF can maximize the versatility of battery technology to include multiple customer and electric system benefits such as balancing energy demand, managing intermittent resources, increasing energy security and deferring traditional power grid upgrades.

These benefits help reduce costs for customers and increase operational efficiencies.

"These battery projects provide electric system benefits that will help improve local reliability for our customers and provide significant energy services to the power grid," Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president, said in a release. "Duke Energy Florida will continue to identify opportunities in battery storage technology which will deliver efficiency improvements to our customers."

As part of DEF’s commitment to renewables, the company is investing an estimated $1 billion to construct or acquire a total of 700 MW of cost-effective solar power facilities and 50 MW of battery storage through 2022.

The Jennings Town Council approved Duke purchasing two lots off of Oak Street at its May meeting for the project, which was proposed to the council in April.

The Jennings facility is projected to cost $10 million.

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