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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – In what the company said will be the largest system of its type in the world, Florida Power & Light on Thursday announced plans to build a battery facility in Manatee County that will store solar-generated energy.

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The facility, which is expected to start operating in late 2021, will be charged by an already-existing FPL solar plant in Manatee County.

FPL said using stored energy from the battery facility during times of high electricity demand will offset the need to run other power plants.

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The utility said the facility also will help speed up the shutdown of two 1970s-era natural-gas plants nearby.

In a prepared statement, FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy described the facility as a “mega battery.”

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