Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will install a 200-megawatt solar farm to underpin the energy requirements of its P740-billion Bulacan airport project.
The company said it wants that mammoth infrastructure venture to become the showcase of ‘clean energy’ investment paradigm shift – as the country has already started building up on a “green economy” future.
“The facility will be one of the largest in the country, representing one of the many projects the conglomerate – through its energy arm San Miguel Global Power – is developing to integrate renewables to its diversified portfolio,” SMC President and COO Ramon S. Ang said.
He previously apprised reporters that the suite of RE projects they will be pursuing shall be a mixed of solar, hydro and wind energy installations.
The solar facility that would be integrated with the airport project, according to the company, will be developed on a 2,500-hectare property.
“More than that, the airport project is also betting on a green economy to have a dominant role in building a sustainable economy past the pandemic,” San Miguel said.
The solar farm installation, according to Ang, will be coupled with a battery storage technology to enable it “to store power when generation is high but power consumption is low, and can be released when the demand is high.”
In his view, battery storage is 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 utilize for the airport.”
The SMC chief executive added “we continue to invest in technologies so that our power facilities would have as little impact as possible to the environment.”
He explained that with battery storage technology, this is anticipated “to significantly encourage the use of more renewable energy in the long term, as storing power can address one of the main hindrances to wider adoption of renewable power,” since aside from high cost, RE sources are also intermittent or there are times that the sun will not shine; or the wind won’t blow.
On the firm’s energy investments, Ang noted “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 and traditional fuel-based power.”
San Miguel’s current power generation portfolio cuts across coal, hydro and gas technologies; and the company has been the leading power producer in the country since its entry into the restructured electricity sector roughly a decade ago.
Beyond RE, the company has likewise been casting investment expansion on power facilities that will feed on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), with target to have the initial capacities on commercial stream by year 2022.
Ang emphasized the company “maintains a mix of renewable and non-renewable facilities, with hydropower and natural gas facilities in its portfolio.”