Solar news: April 5th, 2019

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, Germany generates half of all electricity in March from renewables and Florida Power & Light revealed plans for a massive solar-powered battery system.

Germany covers more than half of electricity production in March with renewables

According to solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE, renewables accounted for 54.45 percent of Germany’s net electricity generation in the month of March. The previous peak was in May 2018, when renewables as a whole accounted for 48.6 percent of Germany’s net electricity generation. The main contributor was wind power, generating 34.2 percent of the country’s electricity for the month, with solar generation following at 7.3 percent. On March 30th, however, solar peaked for the month at 17.9 percent of net generation. Other energy sources included biomass and hydropower.

Aside from renewables, nuclear power plants accounted for 13.9 percent of March’s total generation, and gas power plants contributed 6.9 percent.

Florida Power & Light reveals plans for world’s largest solar-powered battery

Florida utility Florida Power & Light (FPL) has unveiled plans for a 409 megawatt (MW)/900 megawatt-hour (MWh) energy storage project. If plans proceed, it will be the largest battery system powered by solar in the world. This news comes out just after the utility announced their plans to build 30 million solar panels by the year 2030, which would come out to 8 to 10 gigawatts (GW) of new solar power.

According to the press release by FPL, this battery project is part of its overall goal “to accelerate the retirement of two, 1970s-era natural gas generating units at FPL’s neighboring power plant, and replace them with renewable energy.”

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the levelized cost of electricity from battery storage has fallen 76 percent since 2012, making solar plus storage projects economically feasible when it comes to replacing old fossil fuel generation. It won’t be surprising to see more utilities follow in FPL’s steps as the favorable economics of solar plus storage systems become even more pronounced.