Universal Power Solutions Inc. (UPSI) is borrowing P40 billion to finance its battery energy storage system (BESS) projects, the unit of San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corp. said.
In a filing, the power arm of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said UPSI entered into financing agreements for the BESS projects built or to be built across multiple sites in the country. SMC had said that it plans to put up a total of 32 BESS network with a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatt hours (MWh).
San Miguel Global Power will guarantee the loan, which will be divided into two tranches—P12 billion and P8 billion. “In its capacity as shareholder of UPSI, [San Miguel Global Power] has likewise entered into such relevant agreements as sponsor and shares security guarantor of UPSI in the project financing.”
The loan would be obtained from China Banking Corp., Bank of Commerce, and BDO Unibank, Inc.
Last March, SMC inaugurated its BESS facilities in Limay, Bataan which have a combined capacity of 90MWh.
“Now, we have around 640MW that are ready. The balance of 360MW by December,” SMC President Ramon Ang said during the inauguration.
The company’s BESS facilities will support the country’s power grid by storing excess power from existing plants, and injecting this power back, when and where it is needed, within milliseconds.
“Government is working to avert a power crisis. But we know it takes time to complete new power facilities. The BESS network is already here, and it can provide immediate mitigation to the power crisis,” Ang added. Currently, the main challenge of renewables is intermittence, or the unreliable nature of renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. BESS will enable renewable energy (RE) capacity to be stored, ready to be deployed even when solar or wind farms or hydropower plants are down.
“Equally important, our facilities can support the integration of over 5,000 MW of renewable power sources into the grid. They can store excess energy from traditional and renewable sources during periods of low demand and release it back into the grid when demand increases.
The solution that we need to help address our most pressing energy concerns, is already at our doorstep,” said Ang.
BESS technology was actually pioneered in the Philippines as far back as 2016 by what is now SMC’s Masinloc power facility. That pioneering BESS project introduced the use of advanced lithium-ion battery technologies in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Today, BESS contributes to the ancillary services of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for grid stability and security.