AYALA group unit ACEN Corp. said the next green energy auction should include solar hybrid systems, which incorporates a storage component to allow electricity to be transmitted at all hours.

“We are hoping that in the next green energy auction (will entertain) the notion of… a solar storage hybrid,” Eric T. Francia, president and chief executive officer of ACEN, said in a chat with reporters last week.

“Solar-storage hybrids… will help address grid constraints, as well as encourage distribution utilities to procure GEAP capacity because it enhances the reliability of GEAP as a source of supply,” he said.

He said pairing solar power with storage addresses the intermittency problem of renewable energy and issues caused by injecting large renewable capacities onto the grid. 

“While we are a very strong proponent of renewable energy, let us be careful in injecting renewable energy. If you inject more renewable energy… that puts a strain on the grid. Because you have large capacitiy output but it is intermittent,” Mr. Francia said.

“If you have solar at 16% capacity factor output, if you have wind at around 30%, you are only typically using that much of the grid. You are effectively or potentially crowding out other capacities from going to the grid,” he added.

The second round of the green energy auction resulted in firm project commitments of about 3,440 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity out of the 11,600 MW of capacity on offer.

Theresa C. Capellan, president of SunAsia Energy, Inc. and chairperson of Philippine Solar and Storage Energy Alliance, said in a statement on Sunday that the next green energy auction should also include advanced technologies like floating solar panels.

“Supplying power to Metro Manila and Laguna requires gigawatts of power which needs thousands of hectares not readily available to developers. Using the (Laguna de Bay) surface for solar energy provides a clear pathway in realizing the energy security and decarbonization goals of the country,” Ms. Capellan said.

However, Ms. Capellan said rates for floating solar should be evaluated, noting that it is a different kind of technology from the ground-mounted solar. 

“The tariff on floating solar is a good start as it differentiates the economics (compared with) land-based solar. But… the green energy auction reserve (GEAR) price for floating solar has not yet captured the true cost of this emerging technology,” she added.

Last week, ACEN and SunAsia Energy separately signed renewable energy contract area utilization agreements with Laguna Lake Development Authority for their floating solar projects in Laguna de Bay. — Ashley Erika O. Jose