SMC plans to put up 200-MW solar farm in Bulacan


San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is considering building a 200-megawatt solar farm in Bulacan that would provide the electricity needs of its P740-billion New Manila International Airport project in the same province.

The homegrown conglomerate said in a statement that aside from catering to the energy needs of the airport, the solar farm would also be part of SMC’s strengthened efforts to shift into renewable energy sources.

Ramon Ang, SMC president and chief operating officer, said the solar facility would be one of the largest in the country and would be one of the many projects to be added to San Miguel Global Power Holding Corp.’s diversified portfolio.

Also, the plan is for the solar farm to be equipped with a battery facility that will allow storage of the electricity generated when output is more than consumption.

Through the battery energy storage facility, the electricity generated can be made available on demand.

“This battery storage will be a viable solution to balancing electricity loads and storing unstable energy supply coming from the sun and other renewable sources of energy which we are looking to use for the airport,” Ang said.

He said that, apart from Bulacan, SMC has also invested significantly in battery storage technology in various parts of the country to help stabilize power grids, minimize power wastage and provide reliable and affordable electricity coming from a mix of renewable and traditional sources.

Battery storage can address one of the main hindrances to wider adoption of renewable power, apart from high cost—that is, intermittent or limited power source, such as sunlight or wind.

“Our approach has always been to use cutting-edge technology to shift sustainably to better fuels while balancing the needs of our country, economy, and people for affordable, reliable traditional fuel-based power,” he added. “We continue to invest in technologies so that our power facilities would have as little impact as possible on the environment.”

He was also referring to circulating fluidized bed technology that SMC uses in its coal-fired power plants.

Aside from solar, SMC is also expanding its portfolio with hydro projects as well as facilities that will run on fuel derived from liquefied natural gas.

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