November 27, 2018 Read More →

Solar-plus-storage systems bring cheaper, cleaner electricity to Philippines

Clean Technica:

The small Filipino town of Paluan on the island of Mindoro has been electrified with the installation of its own Tesla battery powered solar plus storage minigrid. The new minigrid provides power to local residents who had been living on just a few hours of unstable electricity that came and went as inconsistently as the weather. To solve the situation, a new solar plus storage plus diesel solution was installed that provides stable power to residents 24 hours a day, 7 days per week for the first time ever.

The system leverages a 2 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar installation and a 1.8 MW / 1.5 MWh Tesla Powerpack installation. The solar installation provides the bulk of the electricity required to supply the needs of residents, and the Tesla Powerpack installation stores up excess daytime solar production which can be used through the night.

Three diesel generators with a combined capacity of 1,260 kilowatts (kW) was added to provide supplemental power during peak usage over the evening hours and to offset the seasonality of the solar generating system.

The installation highlights how relatively simple it is for those islanded from existing electricity supply networks to install a microgrid, minigrid, or full-blown grid of their own, built on a foundation of currently available solar and storage solutions. Importantly, the installation was justified and funded without subsidies, demonstrating how competitive and practical solar plus storage installations are, even in rural regions.

The system was installed by a local solar company, Solar Para Sa Bayan (SPSB), which translates to ‘Solar for the country’. The company currently supplies power to nearly 3,000 customers on the island of Paluan, while delivering significant reductions in the cost of electricity at the same time.

The market is ripe for disruption, with more than 30 million Filipinos who live without reliable access to electricity. The island nature of the nation and rugged mountainous terrain makes the prospect of local energy generation and storage installations more lucrative as the cost of tapping into centralized electrical grids puts them out of reach for most of the unserved or underserved in the country.

More: Solar + storage minigrids are electrifying towns across the Philippines

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