Solar power plants may soon be a cheap option


As battery storage costs decline

WITHIN five years, battery storage costs are predicted to go down by 85 percent which would make solar a low-cost option for intermediate load power plants.

This was the projection made by William Ruccius, business development director of Enfinity Philippines, a subsidiary of Belgian solar project developer Enfinity N.V.
Ruccius said projections of continuous decline in the cost of battery storage will “strategically position solar power as a low-cost option in the country’s power” supply requirements.

Such development will also end the power outage predicament of individual Filipino homes, Enfinity said.

In a power system, Ruccius explained that intermediate load power plants are those that can provide supply on optimum operation, such as coal-fired and natural gas power plants.

“But with battery storage, the need for reliability and power quality in an electricity system can also be addressed aptly by solar,” he said.

Aside from on-grid installations, battery storage would also be an ideal match to solar homes and as a micro-grid solution. It is also a technology option for areas under the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) of the National Power Corp. (NPC).

Along off-grid areas, the deployment of solar with battery storage is expected to drastically cut the P18 billion worth of subsidy payments that all Filipino consumers have been paying for the provision of energy in SPUG areas.

Ruccius said hybrid solar can provide power to these SPUG areas today 24 hours a day at less than the P14 to P45 per kilowatt hour range, the prevailing electricity rate being charged to consumers in these areas.

“In the Philippines today, battery storage on the level of private houses is already affordable and people are already enjoying the benefits of this system,” Ruccius said.

Enfinity reported that it already cornered orders for more than 200 houses to be equipped with battery storage.

This is part of its rollout with joint venture partner Imperial Homes Corporation on a solar homes project due for construction early next year.

“We would be able to build 10,000 of those systems [solar homes with battery storage]across the Philippines over a period of three years. There would be no brownouts anymore for these homes and the end-users will also be saving money,” Ruccius said.

He said that the company is currently working on a micro-grid solution, “with central megawatt battery storage and solar on the houses that will power the whole community in the future without getting connected to the grid.”


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