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AC Energy attaches 40 MW battery pack to 120 MW solar farm

Merkado Barkada
AC Energy attaches 40 MW battery pack to 120 MW solar farm

The Ayala-led renewable energy company disclosed yesterday that it installed 24 “battery containers”, split into two clusters of lithium-ion batteries capable of generating 20 MW each, in a plot of land right next to its 120 MW solar farm in Alaminos, Pangasinan.

This is AC Energy's [ACEN 8.65 2.37%] first hybrid storage facility, and it will allow ACEN to “harden” the quality of the electricity produced at the solar farm.

By storing electricity from the solar panels when electricity supply is plentiful (and cheap on the open market), the battery storage system will allow ACEN to continue delivering electricity during weather-related outages, take advantage of peak spot prices during periods of low electricity supply to the grid, and act as an ancillary power supply to the grid that can be quickly brought online to fill supply gaps as needed.


“But what if it’s cloudy?” is always the first question thrown back at companies pushing renewable energy, especially solar, and particularly in situations where the solar power is meant to replace load that was predominantly taken-up by coal-fired power plants.

It’s a valid question, since without something like this battery storage add-on, a solar power facility can only produce electricity when it’s sunny.

Worldwide, solar power plants are often paired with pumped storage solutions, but the more you find out about those wacky setups the more you realize how hilariously wasteful they are, and the more you yearn for battery technology to reach the point where it can start to carry some of the load at commercial scale.

Is this “that”?

I’m not sure, and it sounds like ACEN isn’t sure yet, either, but we don’t get away from coal and gas and move to a future bustling with solar electricity without some way to store electricity to better match our electricity supply to our electricity demand.

If it just so happens to net ACEN higher per-unit electricity prices in the market, that seems like an incentive that is aligned with those interests.


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