On 27 January Fluence announced today that the first 20 MW/20 MWh battery-based energy storage unit in a project totalling 470MW/470MWh has entered commercial service. It has been deployed for SMC Global Power Holdings Corp and is sited in Negros Occidental. It is only the second grid-scale battery project to serve the Philippines electricity network, following a 10 MW/10 MWh system sited at the Masinloc power plant in Zambales, also supplied by Fluence, in 2016.

The unit is the first operational energy storage asset on the Visayas regional grid, which has the largest amount of solar PV generation in the Philippines. In addition, the system is the first such asset in the Philippines to be directly controlled by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines through automatic generation control (AGC) to provide critical grid stability services including managing frequency and voltage and supplying reactive power.

The new system and its predecessor in Masinloc provide ancillary services with faster speed of response and accuracy than thermal ancillary service providers – such as hydropower, diesel, or natural gas generation – as proved during NGCP’s testing and accreditation process.

The Kabankalan project was successfully delivered on time despite a range of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain delays, worker travel restrictions and coordinating construction amid complex site restrictions. 

SMCGPH is strategically siting energy storage projects across the Philippines power network to make it stronger and more resilient, preparing the national grid to accommodate higher levels of renewable energy, and taking the Philippines into a leadership position in clean energy deployments in Southeast Asia.