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Just recently, the Luzon grid was placed under Red alert because there was insufficient supply of power in the grid due to unplanned plant outages coupled with high temperatures. As a result, rotating power outages were implemented in certain areas in the grid, causing more discomfort among Filipinos amid the blazing heat.

To increase grid flexibility and reliability, Battery Energy Storage Systems or BESS are emerging as the strongest solution to this situation, as the global energy storage system market is expected to reach $17.9 billion by 2027.

To help improve grid performance in the country, SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMC), one of the major suppliers of power to the national grid in the Philippines, has partnered with ABB to install BESS facilities as part of its nationwide BESS Project, the region’s largest BESS project. As part of a multi-million-dollar contract won in 2019, ABB will support two 20MW sites which will be installed by June 2021, with a further 40MW site in July 2021. The remaining sites will be completed in 2022.

With rapid growth rates of 31.4 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) by 2027 projected, countries around the world are increasingly switching to BESS to drive greater grid reliability and broader adoption of renewable energy sources. BESS are particularly suitable for regions that are impacted by grid instability, such as the Philippines.

In a statement sent to FrontpagePH.com, Alessandro Palin, President of ABB’s Distribution Solutions Division explains: “BESS are transforming the market, driving wider adoption of renewable energy solutions, and helping to improve grid performance across the globe. In support of ABB’s 2030 sustainability commitments, pioneering solutions like the one in the Philippines will ensure that grids are more stable and will satisfy the reliability challenges associated with moving to a stronger mix of renewables”

This project, he said, will support the Philippines’ ambitious plans to build a more sustainable future for its communities by decarbonizing energy generation and ensuring that 54 percent of its energy mix comes from renewables by 2040 (a sizeable increase from 29 percent of renewables in 2019).

To meet these targets, the country faces several challenges to ensure grid stability, including the length of power lines required to connect the diverse archipelago, as well as intermittent energy supply from wind and solar, which needs storage to act as a frequency regulator.

ABB has provided a packaged BESS solution to strengthen the reliability and stability of the local grid on Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the archipelago, and also the Visayas. Both these fast-developing regions will benefit from BESS as part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program that aims to establish a “golden age of infrastructure” to boost industry and tourism.

The solution is designed to avoid large frequency deviations which can result in costly equipment damage and disruptive power system failure.

The Philippine project uses ABB’s proprietary software platform ABB Ability™ Zenon to act as the intuitive interface to the BESS, allowing users to make real-time decisions based on grid parameters to ensure performance stability.

To satisfy the complicated needs of the scheme and ensure easy and quick installation, ABB developed a complete solution that uses standardized building blocks that are scalable and modular. The building block designs include an integrated combination of Energy Storage Modules and power distribution equipment that can be increased or reduced in capacity to suit specific site location requirements.

The BESS includes the provision of battery enclosures, ABB EcoFlex eHouse, UniGear ZS1 medium-voltage switchgear, integrated skid units, transformers and inverters in one single skid, with a connection to the grid.

Installation and energization periods were reduced by up to 30 percent, as all equipment was delivered fully integrated and pre-tested before arriving on site. Adopting this philosophy also ensured a reduction in site works and associated costs for the customer.

Palin concludes: “By combining the knowledge of our Packaging and Solutions Global Execution team based in Manila, with the local grid knowledge of the SMC team, we are proud to support the most ambitious BESS project in South East Asia.”

ABB also plans to use learnings from these installations to implement further high-profile BESS projects around the world.


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