To help ease the power problem in summer next year, AES Philippines Power Partners Co. is putting up a 40-megawatt (MW) battery storage system in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
Chrysogonus Herrera, AES Philippines vice president for commercial affairs, said the firm was directed by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to put up the Battery Energy Storage (BES) system in Kabankalan because there is a ready facility in the area.
He said BES is necessary to enable renewables to be integrated in the grid.
“All the more reason that if you are integrating the renewable energy into the grid system, you have to use batteries,” Herrera told participants of the media workshop in Ancillary Service and Energy Storage System in Makati City.
Before the BES system in Kabankalan becomes operational, Herrera said the company needs to test the project, adding that a test protocol is required by the NGCP.
“There is no problem in battery installation in Negros because there is a test protocol. The test protocol will determine if NGCP will pay us,” he added.
Herrera provided no technical details about the proposed installation’s capabilities to show how that much power can be stored for any meaningful period of time.
Currently, the largest BES system in the world is located in Fairbanks, Alaska, and is operated by the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA). That system consists of 13,760 liquid electrolyte-filled NiCad (nickel-cadmium) cells, each weighing approximately 165 pounds (75 kilos), and is capable of producing a total of 27 MW of power for approximately 15 minutes, according to data provided by the GVEA website.
He said BES helps in improving the ancillary services requirements because it is a good, clean and safe technology, which is pioneering and first of its kind in the Philippines and in Asia.
The BES, he added, has also the fastest response with only less than one second to full dispatch up or down.
He also said that the system has competitive investment costs and fast construction period at nine to 12 months.
“Batteries are noise free, emission free and beauty to look at,” he added.
Neeraj Bhat, AES Philippines market business leader, however, said the BES is only part of the solution during the looming power shortage in summer next year.
“This is very, very important part of the solution because it frees up what the generators provide. We need this even without the shortage,” he said.
The company entered the Philippine market in 2008 when it acquired the 600-MW thermal power plant in Zambales from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), the government corporation tasked to privatize state-owned assets.
By successfully rehabilitating the 10-year old Masinloc Power Plant, AES expanded its footprint in Asia.
“It also demonstrated its deep local knowledge and distinctive operational skills honed from more than two decades of leadership in the global energy sector and pioneering advances in many markets,” AES said.