Duke Energy Florida has announced its plans to build three new battery energy storage units with a total capacity of 30MW.

The three storage units will be located at the company’s Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County, John Hopkins Middle School in Pinellas County, and southwest of Gainesville in Alachua County.

The three sites are expected to be crucial in supporting public safety during significant weather events and also in enhancing the overall grid efficiency.

Duke Energy Florida plans to make an estimated investment of $1bn, as part of its commitment to renewables. The investment will be made to construct or acquire a total of 700MW solar power facilities and 50MW of battery storage through 2022.

The battery storage sites are expected to be completed by the end of next year

The company is building an 18MW lithium battery system at its 45MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant, which started operations last December.

The second storage unit will be the 8.25MW Micanopy lithium battery site to be located 15 miles (24km) southwest of Gainesville in Alachua County.

The third storage unit is the 3.5MW solar plus storage microgrid site will be located at Pinellas County’s John Hopkins Middle School.

It will include 1MW in solar parking canopy array and a 2.5MW battery and controls to store and deploy clean energy to the school and grid.

All the three battery energy storage units are expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Duke Energy Florida state president Catherine Stempien said: “Batteries are an exciting technology that allows us to bring more renewables onto the grid and support resiliency in our communities.

“These projects help us determine the best uses so that when battery storage technology becomes even more cost-competitive, as it is projected to do, we can deploy them quickly for the benefit of our customers.”