SN Aboitiz Power is planning to venture into ground-mounted solar power plants to add to its portfolio of energy sources, which are mostly large hydroelectric power plants, the company’s president said.
“I’d like to at least have maybe 50 megawatts (MW) a year, 25-50 MW a year, that we could trade,” Joseph S. Yu, President and Chief Executive Officer of SN Aboitiz.
Asked about when the company plans to starting building solar power projects, he said: “Maybe the year after.”
Mr. Yu said the company does not see any reason to stop expanding its annual capacity target.
“We just keep going as long as the market could bear it,” he said, adding that the company would continue to push hydroelectric power development.
SN Aboitiz is the joint venture of Norway’s SN Power AS and listed energy company Aboitiz Power Corp. It owns and operates the 360-MW to 380-MW Magat hydroelectric power plant on the border of Isabela and Ifugao provinces; the 8.5-MW Maris hydro plant in Isabela; the 105-MW Ambuklao hydro plant in Benguet; and the 140-MW Binga hydro plant in Benguet.
Last year, the company confirmed an announcement made by state agency National Irrigation Administration that they partnered to develop a floating solar farm on Magat dam with a capacity of 200 kilowatts.
The pilot floating solar project was meant to be tested for strong typhoons this year, but the storms that came were not in the strength that the facility was meant to withstand, Mr. Yu said.
He said the company has spent about $400,000 for the pilot project.
For the company’s planned solar power capacity, Mr. Yu said he was looking at a combination of ground-mounted and floating solar farms.
SN Aboitiz may also study other technologies such wind power, although it had never dabbled on onshore or offshore wind farms.
“But if [the opportunity is] there we can put resources on that,” Mr. Yu said.
“The other thing also is as more variable renewable energy comes in, somebody has to come in and help modulate the frequency of the grid,” he said, referring to battery storage systems.
“So you have two places there for us. One is the hydro side because hydropower plants are one of the biggest batteries you could have. And of course, battery energy storage systems,” Mr. Yu said. — Victor V. Saulon