SMC spending $1 billion to build 31 battery energy storage outfits



Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said unit SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. is spending more than $1 billion to simultaneously build 31 battery energy storage facilities nationwide with a total rated capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

“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,” said SMC president Ramon Ang.

Ang said some battery energy storage facilities were in the advanced stages of completion. The facilities, which will make up the company’s total committed capacity of over 1000 MW, will be built in strategic sites from Luzon to Mindanao where power quality mitigations are required.

The company in 2018 completed the first battery energy storage facility in the country in its power plant in Masinloc, Zambales.

SGPHC aggressively moved forward with the 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.

The battery energy storage technology is a major step towards making intermittent renewable energy more viable in the country.

“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,” Ang said.

He said battery storage technology would boost flexibility of the power grid and improve power quality by removing excess power and injecting required power at strategic areas within the grid within millisecond level.

This ensures power quality is maintained and that it reaches power users all over the country, Ang said.

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

Ang said battery energy storage facilities could also facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar into 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.

The battery energy storage projects will be used as regulating reserve type of ancillary service for grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to mitigate grid frequency fluctuation and voltage issues. 

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