Off-grid energy storage eyed


AES Philippines, a subsidiary of American energy giant AES Corp., plans to put up hybrid energy storage systems in off-grid areas in an effort to provide cheaper electricity.

These off-grid areas are mostly under the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) of the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Neeraj Bhat, AES market business leader for the Philippines, said they have already started exploratory talks for such a project.

“We just started in the last few months a lot of interesting initiatives regarding a combination of solar and battery-based energy storage facilities in SPUG areas,” he told reporters.

Bhat said the company got interested in such a project because most of these off-grid areas suffer from high electricity costs.

“Most of those off-grid areas are effectively served by high-priced diesel [powered generators]and they’re at very, very high prices,” he said.

He said they have already sent offers to some off-grid electric cooperatives (ECs).
“We’ve actually priced out a few offers and made a couple of offers already to a couple of off-grid ECs to provide this hybrid solution,” he said.

He said the company has been in talks with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the implementation of the project.

“We’ve also had discussions with NEA on this as well. They asked us to speak in an off-grid EC conference that happened in end-September,” he said.

He said AES is very interested in continuing to work with other SPUG areas and provide them with a smaller customized power solution.

AES is developing its first energy storage facility in the country, the Masinloc AdvancionTM Energy Storage Array.

The plant, which will be the first battery-based energy storage facility in the Philippines, will be located next to the Masinloc power plant in Zambales.

AES is actively developing other battery-based energy storage systems across the Philippines, including a project in Negros Occidental which would improve the grid’s ability to incorporate the significant volume of renewable generation coming on-line in the Visayas in 2016.


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