MANILA — The Philippines is set to become one of the world’s leaders in the use of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) technologies — seen as critical to improving power quality and helping power the country’s clean energy transition — following the inauguration of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) nationwide BESS network with a combined capacity of 1000 MWH.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the inauguration in Limay, Bataan where SMC built a combined total of 90-MWh BESS facilities.
It is part of the total 32 battery storage stations being built by SMC, through its San Miguel Global Power (SMGP) all over the country, the first and largest such network in the country, and among the largest integrated battery storage networks in the world.
The project is part of SMC and SMGP’s aggressive medium-term goal for power system decarbonization and resilience.
“With a total 1,000 MWh of BESS in 32 sites nationwide, San Miguel Global Power, a proudly Filipino company, is poised to become one of the largest grid-scale battery storage system operators in the world–something our nation can be truly proud of. This puts us ahead of so many countries in terms of adoption of this technology, which is crucial to our clean energy future,” President Marcos Jr. said.
“BESS technology will support our goal of generating 35% of our total energy requirement from renewables by 2030. It is safe, has zero noise pollution, zero carbon emissions, zero water extraction, and generates zero waste. It also remedies the challenge with the wider adoption of renewable sources, which is intermittent. I thank San Miguel Corporation and Ramon Ang for another important contribution to national development,” Marcos Jr. added.
SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang explained that battery energy storage is an important global innovation in the energy sector, one that will enable stable and reliable power to reach even far-off areas.
“Our BESS facilities will support the country’s power grid by storing excess power from existing plants, and injecting this power back, when and where it is needed, within milliseconds- – ensuring power quality is stable and reaches users all over the country,” Ang said.
Equally significant, according to Ang, is how the BESS network can enable the integration of capacity from small-to-medium scale renewable energy sources into the grid, and help encourage more investments in renewables in the future.
“With battery energy storage, we can solve the problem with most renewable energy sources, which is intermittence, due to the irregularity or seasonality of solar and wind power sources. Over the next couple of years, we estimate the integration of up to 5000 MW of renewable power into the grid, due largely to our BESS facilities,” Ang said.
BESS technology, which enables the storage of energy both from renewable and non-renewable sources, was actually pioneered in the Philippines as far back as 2016 by what is now SMC’s Masinloc power facility.
That pioneering BESS project introduced the use of advanced lithium-ion battery technologies in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Today, BESS contributes to the ancillary services of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for grid stability and security.
Ang also pushed for BESS as one of the solutions to the looming power crisis, saying it can bridge the energy security gap by storing excess energy when it is available, and releasing it when demand is high.
“Government is working to avert a power crisis. But we know it takes time to complete new power facilities. The BESS network is already here, and it can provide immediate mitigation to the power crisis,” Ang said.
SMGP partnered with ABB Philippines, Fluence, and Wartsila as its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contractors.
In addition, Samsung provides SMGP with its advanced battery module technology that has no direct emissions in its operations. It stabilizes the grid efficiently and at a low cost.