PARRISH, Fla. - When the Manatee Solar Energy Center opened in 2017, there was one missing piece: The technology to store energy not used during the day.
Stephen Heiman, with Florida Power and Light, says that has been solved and the solution is to build the world's largest solar-powered battery and energy storage center.
"As a radiance from the sun comes down and hits these solar panels that’s what creates this energy source," explained Heiman. "The energy source is then transferred into the battery and stored as you would a normal battery."
The solar-powered battery will sit on 40 acres of land in Manatee County. FP&L expects it to go online by the end of 2021.
"The battery that is planned for Manatee is a 409-megawatt battery, that’s equivalent to 100 million iPhone batteries," he said.
The 500-acre site with solar panels can already power 15,000 homes in the area. Construction on the battery and storage center will start within a few months. The total price tag hasn't been finalized, but the technology caught the eye of Congressman Vern Buchanan.
"Everyone is concerned about the future and alternative energy, this is going to move us in that direction," he said.
Congressman Buchanan co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that makes sure proper incentives are in place to help this type of technology expand.
"The idea is to make the investment here, tweak the technology and maybe this is something we can move across the country," said Congressman Buchanan.
Working to cut back on emissions and improve the future.
"We want to see this become the bigger source of energy," said Congressman Buchanan.