AES sees bright prospects in solar, battery storage in Philippines

by Danessa O. Rivera – November 26, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – AES Philippines, the local unit of American energy giant AES Corp., is eyeing to construct solar and battery storage facilities in far-flung areas around the country not connected to the main power grid.

The company said it sees tremendous opportunities in Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas since these places source their power from much more expensive diesel power plants, AES Philippines managing director Neeraj Bhat said.

Moreover, the cost of solar and battery energy storage has been going down dramatically, he noted.

In the past few months, AES Philippines has started initiatives on a combination of solar and energy storage in SPUG areas.

“We’ve actually priced out a few offers and made a couple of offers already to a couple of off-grid electric cooperatives to provide this hybrid solution,” Bhat said.

The company official also noted AES Philippines has also been in discussions with the National Electrification Administration (NEA), a state-owned corporation responsible for the total electrification of the country.

The company was given an opportunity to discuss hybrid projects with electric cooperatives (ECs) in a conference held last September.

“That was an opportunity to showcase, or at least demonstrate, what it could do,” Bhat said. “We are very interested in continuing to work with other SPUG areas for a smaller customized solution.”

AES has been pushing for the use of battery energy storage technology as a possible long-term solution to the country’s power woes.

Bhat said earlier the technology is particularly attractive to island grids, which face unique challenges in instantaneously matching supply and demand across a smaller pool of resources.

The company is exploring the potential of putting up about 200 to 250 MW of battery energy storage systems around the country.