AC Energy Corp. (ACEN), the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group, has switched on the country’s first hybrid solar and energy storage project.
The 2×20 megawatt (MW) energy storage facility is adjacent to ACEN’s 120MW Alaminos solar farm in Laguna. The project is configured to help manage internal electricity demands, store electricity when the solar plant is generating power but demand is low, and provide rapid power charging when the demand is high. It will also provide ancillary services to the national grid.
“We are delighted to start the operations of ACEN’s very first battery energy storage project,” said ACEN President Eric Francia. “We will be looking to increase our investments in storage as the technology increases its viability and competitiveness.”
He further said that the 40 MW energy storage project will allow the company to evaluate opportunities to store energy more effectively across ACEN’s portfolio, with the aim to provide a sustainable and reliable energy source for the country.
The facility holds 24 battery containers with SAFT 2.5 MWh lithium-ion batteries, enough to power about 20,000 homes and avoid 35.87 MTCO2e emissions per year.
“We are taking advantage of battery storage technology’s fast response, scalability and ease of integration into our renewable projects,” said Jose Maria Zabaleta, ACEN’s Chief Development Officer. “With the Alaminos Energy Storage project, we can harness renewable energy more effectively amidst its variability while improving the operating capabilities of the grid and ensuring high reliability.”
The Alaminos Solar and Storage hybrid facility is notable for its pioneering Sustainability Hub, where the plant is surrounded by Ayala Land’s Carbon Forest, a woodland reserve that acts as a carbon trap and home to biodiversity.
A plastic recycling facility has also been integrated to pilot the circular approach, diverting plastic waste from landfills to be upcycled into eco-bricks and to be used in building facilities within the plant. And with a future Eco Learning Center already underway, ACEN aims to create awareness on various climate action programs such as nature-based solutions which are essential for the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems.
ACEN’s Alaminos energy storage project is expected to help the company achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, on its way to becoming the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia.