Friday, December 9, 2022

Prime Infra to build world’s largest solar power storage facility

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Philippines-based Prime Infrastructure Holdings has unveiled plans to construct the world’s largest solar power facility with a capacity of 2,500 MW to 3,500 MW combined with a 4,000 MWh to 4,500 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), boosting the supply of renewable energy in the country.

The project will be undertaken by Terra Solar Philippines (Terra Solar), a unit of Terra Renewables Holdings, a renewable power subsidiary under billionaire Enrique Razon’s Prime Infrastructure Holdings, in collaboration with Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. The planned facility will supply 850 MW to offtaker Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), the Philippines’ largest power retailer, which distributes electricity in the capital and surrounding areas.

Earlier last year, Terra Solar submitted its bid as an original proponent and, following the Department of Energy’s (DOE) approval, went through the competitive selection process. Two entities challenged the bid but failed to submit it, paving the way for Terra Solar to proceed with sealing the power supply agreement with MERALCO.

The Terra Solar project is a model of dependable renewable energy, which represents a stable price not subject to fuel import volatility for the rest of its 20-year contract. The project will ensure its power is fully available during hours of peak demand, and the electricity generated will power approximately 1.4 million tons of coal, or 930,000 liters of oil, every year. It combined cheap photovoltaic panels with energy storage to get rid of renewable power’s battery problem.

It is expected to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and import dependency for the country from 2026 to 2046.

“We, at Prime Infra Group, are delighted to move forward with MERALCO on this record-breaking project that highlights solar power’s important contribution to strengthening the country’s energy security – solar, which is normally looked at for peaking, is now being made available by Terra Solar to answer Meralco’s mid-merit requirement, thereby addressing both the need for additional capacity and compliance with RPS. DOE and Meralco should be commended for approving a project that is not only transformational and profound to the renewable energy landscape, but also for managing to do so at a competitive price,” said Guillaume Lucci, president, and CEO of Prime Infra.

“Prime Infra finds a sweet spot to pursue solar as we take advantage of the steep decline in installation costs over the past decade and the improved battery energy storage system technology that allows us to build an economically critical and socially relevant infrastructure at a scale the world has never seen before,” Mr. Lucci added.

For the MERALCO power supply agreement, 600 MW will be available by 2026, while the additional 250 MW will be delivered in 2027.

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