US storage major Fluence has started commercial operations at the first project of its storage projects totaling 470 MW/470 MWh for power firm SMC Global Power Holdings (SMCGPH) in the Philippines. The battery will provide ancillary services to the power grid.
Located in Kabankalan in the Philippines’ Negros Occidental region, the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is under direct control of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. The grid operator will use the system for Automatic Generation Control (AGC), to provide ancillary services including frequency regulation, voltage control and reactive power management.
For the Philippines, an island nation comprising islands of multiple sizes, battery storage is a natural accompaniment to larger renewable energy use. Over 70% of current energy comes from coal, natural gas, and fossil fuels, with renewable sources accounting for just around 20% of total power generation. Solar and wind together account for just around 1500 MW of capacity out of 6837 MW as of 2020, based on IRENA reports. The rest is accounted for by Hydro and Bio-Energy.
SMC Global Power, besides Fluence, is also working with two other energy storage providers, ABB and Wärtsilä to establish large storage systems, even as FLuence seems to be the largest partner thanks to its 470 MWh order.
The Kabalankan BESS, besides its focus on ancillary services, will also be able to provide back up and resiliency to power supplies in the event of outages.
Wärtsilä itself has been involved in a novel floating storage project in the country and for South East Asia. Therma Marine Inc. (TMI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation, one of the Philippines’ leading companies involved in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services, has ordered a barge-mounted 54 MW / 32 MWh energy storage system to be delivered by Wärtsilä on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. The Wärtsilä barge will be placed next to TMI’s existing thermal power barge of a total of 100 MW in the municipality of Maco in the province of Davao de Oro. The order was placed in September 2020.
Meanwhile the Manila Electricity Company, a key discom in the country, has also issued a tender for 850 MW of renewable energy projects in the country.