The Solar Philippines group of Leandro Leviste is building the world’s first large-scale solar-battery baseload project after securing a bidding advantage to supply distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with up to 200 megawatts of 24/7 capacity.
The company’s Solar Philippines Batangas Baseload Corp. (SPBBC) has secured an original proponent status to supply Meralco with up to 200 MW of baseload capacity, or the amount of dependable electric power needed to be fed to the grid at any given time.
This will come from the 1,800 MW of solar and 1,800 MW hours of battery storage under development in an area spanning Nasugbu, Tuy and Balayan in Batangas. Since solar energy is intermittent, a firm has to build a massive infrastructure to cover baseload requirements.
Unlike other projects that would operate for 12 hours daily, the company’s upcoming solar-battery project would run on a 24-hour a day basis. This could replace the capacity of a 200-MW coal power plant, the company said.
“SPBBC’s proposal is intended to supply reliable power in all weather conditions, with a plant designed to produce enough electricity even during cloudy days, and with excess during sunny days able to be sold [at] the wholesale electricity spot market,” the company said.
It also said power from the project was 20-40 percent cheaper than from fossil power generation sources. It cited a fixed price of P4.65 per kilowatt hour for 20 years, inclusive of value-added tax and other charges.
But to ensure maximum availability of supply, the firm said it could also source backup power from a portfolio of other plants.
The proposed site is near a 63-MW solar farm in Calatagan, which became the largest solar farm in Luzon when it began operations in 2016.
SPBBC was said to be one of companies to be injected into the portfolio of Leviste’s listed renewable energy company, Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC).
“We are grateful for this opportunity to show that solar with batteries can deliver cost-competitive baseload power,” Leviste, Solar Philippines founder and SPNEC president and CEO, said in the statement.
“We thank Meralco for leading the market in the adoption of renewable energy, and look forward to realizing this project for the benefit of consumers,” he added.