Indias latest big step: 200MW / 300MWh of solar-plus-orage up for nder

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer, resulting in a better browsing experience for our users. By using this site, you are accepting the use of cookies. For information and to change your cookie settings, please view ourcookie policy.

Global news, analysis and opinion on energy storage innovation and technologies

Solar Philippines: Taking a hit on microgrids for emerging economies is an investment for the future

The project uses 120 Tesla batteries connected in parallel at 1,800kW / 1,500kWh capacity. Image: Tom Kenning.

The economics of rural electrification using microgrids should be considered an investment for the future, akin to how Silicon Valley tech providers plough money into initially loss-leading products and services, the chief of developer and manufacturer Solar Philippines has said.

Last week, Tom Kenning, deputy editor at our sister site PV Tech, wrote anextensive and in-depth blogfrom a field visit to Paluan on the island of Mindoro, where a Solar Philippines offshoot company, SPSB(Solar Para Sa Bayan – Solar for the country), has executed a microgrid project that brings power to about 3,000 customers. The microgrid, which uses solar, batteries and diesel backup, is also anticipated to slash commercial electricity costs by half for local businesses.

From having just 3-8 hours of usable electricity each day, with a connection to a 5MW diesel plant some 30km away disconnected a decade ago due to transmission issues, the villagers will be able to run their homes and businesses from the new 2MW PV and 1.8MW / 1.5MWh energy storage plant, coupled with 1,260kW of diesel generation.

Solar Philippines has aggressively set about developing and executing large-scale and microgrid projects in the country as well as establishing PV module manufacturing capabilities. Company chief Leandro Leviste, son of a prominent senator, is enthusiastic about microgrids, while all of the local residents PV Tech spoke with seemed similarly enthused about the endeavour.

Leviste said that the downward trajectory of battery and PV module prices means microgrids for rural power access will reach economic viability sooner rather than later. In the meantime, he said, companies like his might have to be prepared to invest in scaling the technology to meet tomorrows demand rather than making projects capable of delivering big returns today.

The problem of the global microgrid industry is that it has limited itself to subsidized projects, which are limited by the imagination of policymakers. The only way to make microgrids scale today is to be willing to do unsubsidised, even initially loss-making projects, banking on both growth in demand and decrease in PV-storage costs to turn a profit over time, Leviste said.

Were betting our customers in Asia and Africa will one day have standards of living, and thus consumption, at even a fraction of what households in the US and Europe have today, and that our microgrids can help them reach that point sooner, so were effectively in the business of ending poverty.

Leviste later made a comparison with Silicon Valley technology providers, many of which operate under start-up conditions, funded by Venture Capital cash.

If it is acceptable for Silicon Valley companies to initially lose money as they invest in the long-term, it surprises me that not more companies take the same view for off-gridelectrification,when the impact on peoples lives are even so much greater. Were convinced of this opportunity which the solar and finance industries have largely missed, so are financing these unprofitable microgrids with proceeds of our profitable utility-scale business, as an investment that pays off over the long-term.

You can readSolar for the country: Inside Southeast Asias largest micro-grid, looking at the technical details, economics and social impact of the Paluan project,here on the PV Tech site.

Stay up to date with the latest news, analysis and opinions.Sign up hereto the Energy-Storage.news Newsletter.

Nippon Koei targets 100MW of UK battery projects with energy storage JV

Asian Development Bank to help fund Tongas renewables-plus-storage push

Brexit and batteries, a UK industry survival strategy

2.3MWh battery saves 300 litres of diesel an hour on Dutch Caribbean island

Energy Storage Europe: Energy transition needs energy storage

Want to receive the latest news straight to your inbox?

India approves National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage

Worlds first long-term battery insurance service launches from Munich Re

Indias latest big step: 200MW / 300MWh of solar-plus-storage up for tender

Five things we learned from Energy Storage Summit 2019

Why Shell bought Sonnen: Value is in behind-the-meter potential

US residential storage on the rise in another record-breaking year

Statkrafts latest 1GW virtual power plant in the UK combines renewables, storage, gas

NEC switches on Engies first utility-scale battery project in Chile

JUMEME begins expansion on PV mini-grid project in Tanzania

FERC approves ISO New Englands wholesale market proposal, goes into effect on April Fools Day

Overcoming uncertainty: UK energy storage market trends

Hanwha Q CELLS signs European distro deal for Eguana Techs Enduro home storage

AI player eVolution joins Mitsui and GCL-Poly in grid optimisation JV

Exclusive: Portugal to hold 50-100MW energy storage auction in 2020

ScottishPowers US$2.65 billion investment programme puts battery storage, EVs in its sights

India takes long-awaited step for large-scale solar and energy storage

Siemens launches own Junelight lithium home energy storage systems

Subsidy-free solar-plus-storage at UKs most technologically advanced large-scale project

National Grid: Unlocking battery storage in the UK with its Distributed Resource Desk

Value of flexibility will get UK energy storage through the financing crossroads

Solar and wind co-location not on the UK horizon – yet

EPC Decmil breaks ground on 255MW solar farm in Australia, energy storage to be added

Minnesota Legislature prepares for the introduction of energy storage

Spanish climate plan mandates 6GW-by-2030 boost for energy storage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *