San Miguel building 200-MW solar plant in Bulacan airport

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said Wednesday it plans to build a 200-megawatt solar farm on its 2,500-hectare property in Bulacan province to help power the proposed P740-billion New Manila International Airport project.

The company said the move reflected its commitment and efforts to sustainably transition to cleaner energy sources.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement the facility would be one of the largest in the country, representing one of the many projects the conglomerate through energy arm SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. is developing to integrate renewables to its diversified power portfolio.

Ang said company’s solar farm at the SMC Bulacan airport would come with a battery energy storage facility that could keep power in reserve when generation is high but power consumption is low, and be released when the demand is high.

“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 utilize for the airport,” Ang said.

SMC’s international gateway project in Bulacan is expected not only to resolve the worsening airport and traffic congestion in Metro Manila and but also give the Philippine economy a major boost.

The new airport is projected to generate trillions of dollars in economic activity and job opportunities, potentially contributing about 9 percent to gross domestic product by 2025. Its estimated annual impact to the economy would reach P900 billion.

The airport project is also betting on a green economy to have a dominant role in building a sustainable economy past the pandemic.

“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. We continue to invest in technologies so that our power facilities would have as little impact as possible on the environment,” Ang said.

SMC said the circulating fluidized bed technology it uses in its modern, state-of-the-art clean power plants ensures that emissions are way below both Philippine and international emission standards as it transitions to cleaner energy sources.

SMC also maintains a mix of renewable and non-renewable facilities, with hydropower and natural gas facilities in its portfolio. Its planned liquefied natural gas power plants are seen to be viable alternative to fossil-based power generation.

Ang said SMC 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.

He said this technology would 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, apart from high cost, which is limited power source, such as sunlight or wind.

Topics: San Miguel Corp. , 200-MW solar plant , Bulacan province , New Manila International Airport
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