San Miguel spending $1 billion for battery storage facilities

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The power unit of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is investing over $1 billion to simultaneously build 31 new battery energy storage facilities.

In a statement, SMC said its power arm SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SGPHC) is working on 31 new battery energy storage facilities nationwide, which have a combined rated capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW).

SMC president Ramon Ang said some of these projects are now in the advanced stages of completion.

The facilities are located in several strategic sites from Luzon to Mindanao where power quality mitigations are required, he said.

“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,” Ang said.

“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 said.

In 2018, SGPHC completed its very first battery energy storage facility in the country in its power plant in Masinloc, Zambales.

This has started the battery energy storage projects of such historic scale using a relatively new technology capable of improving power quality throughout the grid system and facilitate integration of renewable power sources into the country’s generation portfolio.

SMC said technology is also a major step towards making intermittent renewable energy more viable in the country.

Ang said the technology would 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, ensuring power quality is maintained and that it reaches power users all over the country.

“This can even support equal-opportunity industrialization in many provinces where historically, no industrial plants would locate because of poor power quality,” he said.

On top of that, the SMC chief said battery energy storage facilities can facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar into the grid.

It can address the inherent problem of renewables, which is intermittence, which 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 said.

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