Energy giants installing megabatteries across PH
The Philippines’ electricity powerhouses including the San Miguel, Aboitiz and Ayala groups are paving the way for utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the country as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) cited this technology as a key to scaling up renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Innovative solutions to tackle climate change are needed to reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” ADB senior energy specialist Atsumasa Sakai said in a commentary. “Mega battery energy storage systems are one technology that holds significant promise for increasing the share of renewable energy available for the grid, and for energy consumers.”
He noted large or utility-scale BESS could be a game changer for clean energy, but more action was needed to lower barriers to entry.
Storing electricity for later use in the grid—in particular, during hours when electricity costs are lower as opposed to immediate usage as soon as the energy is generated—is not a new technology.
The difference of the emergent BESS is that it is focused on renewables as the source of electricity.
Sakai cited major hurdles in the adoption of BESS in developing countries. He noted existing electricity laws and regulations do not accommodate an independent market player providing ancillary services, or services that ensure the stable operation of the grid, with a BESS plant.
Currently, the most ambitious BESS initiative here is that of San Miguel Corp.
Through its power generation arm SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the group is prepared to spend as much as $1 billion for a string of 31 BESS spread out across the country and can store an aggregate 1,000 megawatt-hours.
In March, Aboitiz Power Corp. said it has started the installation of its first BESS project in Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley), in partnership with Wartsila and Aboitiz Construction.
The company has lined up for development in the next 10 years 12 BESS projects with a total storage capacity of 248 megawatt-hours for regulating and contingency reserves.
Also, the Ayala group’s AC Energy Corp. is building a 40-MWh BESS in Alaminos, Laguna, near the location of an upcoming 120-MW solar facility.
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