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OUC Fuels Greener Grid with New Battery Storage System

Orlando Utilities Commission installed a 4-megawatt (MW)/8- megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system in St. Cloud. The Central Florida project will increase grid resiliency and help achieve the utility’s 2050 Net Zero CO2 emissions goals.

The system was divided into two 2MW batteries onsite, weighing a combined 150 tons. Expected to be fully operational by mid-January, the new battery storage systems will enable a more seamless and efficient integration of solar energy into OUC’s grid.

Supplied by renewable energy company Ameresco, the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) stores excess energy from solar and other generation to provide power during periods of low solar generation – such as during a storm or on a cloudy day – as well as during times when  electric demand is high but solar may not be available (early morning/late afternoon/ evening). This ensures grid resiliency regardless of weather conditions.

OUC and Ameresco worked last month to install BESS, which was divided into two 2MW systems onsite, and are each comparable in size to a shipping container and weighing 75 tons apiece. The battery system was installed using a crane at OUC’s St. Cloud Substation in Osceola County.

“The adoption of modern energy storage is essential to accelerate OUC’s path to net zero  emissions,” said Attila Miszti, OUC Chief Operating Officer. “This project is a key investment to  tackling the challenges of solar production intermittency. Battery storage will help ensure that while we implement clean energy resources like solar that are necessary for a sustainable  future, we can still continue to provide the reliable service we’ve become known for over the  past 100 years.”

OUC’s Electric Integrated Resource Plan calls for ending the use of coal no later than 2027 and sets the utility on a course to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, with interim target carbon reductions of 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2040. The St. Cloud Substation Battery project is the latest of several clean energy milestones for OUC this year. In January, the utility celebrated its topping out on the first net-zero energy corporate campus to be built for a Florida utility, named the St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center, which will open in early 2024, followed by the July opening of one of the largest electric vehicle charging stations in Florida, known as  the Robinson ReCharge Mobility Hub.

OUC—The Reliable One provides electric, water, chilled water, lighting and solar services to more than 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange County and Osceola County.

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