Energy storage to boost RE reliability – DoE

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RENEWABLE energy (RE) such as solar power will contribute more to meeting the country’s power requirements in the years to come, especially with the coming of energy storage facilities, Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

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Cusi made the forecast during the groundbreaking of a 150-megawatt (MW) solar power project on Friday in Concepcion, Tarlac.

NEW SOLAR FARM IN TARLAC. Shown from left are: Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap, and Concepcion Mayor Andy Lacson during the ceremonial ground-breaking of the 150-MW solar power project in Tarlac. PHOTO BY VOLTAIRE PALAÑA

According to project proponent Solar Philippines, the solar farm will be utilizing Philippine-made solar panels and could power around 300,000 households once completed later this year.

“Currently, the country’s power demand is at 13,000 MW and our supply is barely 14,000 MW, hence we need more power as well as reserve power,” the Energy chief said.

The DOE sees the continuous increase of solar power in the years to come, especially in helping attain the 25 percent ideal power reserve requirement of the country.

“The power storage of the plant’s proponent is a welcome development for the DOE and for the country because if solar can be stored already, we can source more of our power from solar energy,” Cusi said.

He explained that solar plants, without a reliable storage facility, would only be good for peaking and mid-merit, especially during the daytime when electricity demand spikes.

“Solar power plants with reliable storage capability can be most useful in island countries like the Philippines,” Cusi said.

DOE data showed that the renewable energy share of the country now stands at around 32 percent, which is the highest in the Southeast Asian region.

“We are mandated to secure sufficient, quality, reliable and reasonably-priced electricity and to develop our indigenous energy resources, thus we are open to any technology to achieve these objectives,” Cusi said.

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