San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through its power arm SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation, said it is in the advanced stages of completion of its’ 31 new battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities nationwide with a rated capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW).
SMC has invested over $1 billion (around Php48.4 billion) to simultaneously build the facilities. Among the sites are Masinloc, Zambales and Malita, Davao Occidental, where the company has existing coal power plants; as well as in Jasaan, Misamis Oriental and Maco, Davao De Oro.
Once operational, the BESS facilities will stabilize and improve power quality for users nationwide and will also pave the way for more viable use of renewable power by addressing the issue of intermittence.
The diversified conglomerate completed its first BESS in 2018 also in Masinloc.
“Our ongoing investment into battery energy storage facilities will greatly benefit power consumers all over the country, because this will mean that even faraway provinces or areas, can have the same stable and good quality power supply as everywhere else,” SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang said in a statement.
“This means that provinces and islands will have better and more equal opportunities for industrialization and economic growth. If previously some areas could not attract investments because of unstable or poor power supply, battery energy storage will make power supply more stable and reliable. Battery storage will significantly reduce imbalances in the grid that cause power interruptions and brownouts,” he added.
Ang further explained that the technology will boost flexibility of the country’s power grid and improve power quality by removing excess power and injecting required power at strategic areas within the grid within millisecond level. This would ensure that power quality is maintained, reaching consumers across the archipelago.
“This can even support equal-opportunity industrialization in many provinces where historically, no industrial plants would locate because of poor power quality,” Ang said.
Likewise, he pointed out that battery energy storage facilities can facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar into the grid. It particularly can address intermittence, the inherent problem of renewables that significantly aggravates the poor quality of power in the grid.
“Our country’s challenge with renewables is that it is intermittent, because of its nature. But with strategically located battery storage facilities, this can be mitigated and renewables can become more viable. This will help the transition to more renewable sources of energy in the future,” Ang explained.
The immediate aim though, is to address power quality issues. The battery energy storage projects will be used as regulating reserve type of ancillary service for the country’s major power transmission firm, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), to specifically mitigate grid frequency fluctuation and voltage issues.
Photos from SMC website.