Wärtsilä to Develop SE Asia’s Floating Battery Storage System to Augment Thermal Power Barge in Philippines

The Finnish company will develop a 54MW/32MW battery storage unit to back up power generated by a floating thermal power plant which is connected to Philippines’ national grid

Wärtsilä Corporation will develop a floating battery storage facility that will augment a thermal power barge operated by the Davao de Oro Municipal Corporation, an island province of the Philippines. The thermal power barge has been developed by Therma Marine Incorporated, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power which is a power company based in the Philippines. Wärtsilä Corporation is a Finnish power equipment manufacturer specializing in marine environments.

Aboitiz Power’s thermal power barge at the Davao de Oro, a Philippines island, Credit: Aboitiz Power website

This is the first time in Southeast Asia that a thermal power plant is being accompanied with a floating battery storage unit. TMI’s floating thermal power plant has a capacity of 100MW and the planned energy storage unit will have a capacity of  54MW/32MW.  The thermal power provides electricity to Philippines’ National Grid and is currently powered by diesel engines. Support from a battery unit will help the plant provide ancillary services at a faster response rate. For example, the battery system will improve the power barge’s ramping time by 5 times, from 15 minutes to just 3 minutes.

TMI accelerated the project’s development by awarding Wärtsilä Corporation a contract that combines system delivery, engineering procurement and construction in September 2020. Wärtsilä Corporation will be utilising 10 units of its proprietary storage solution known as Gridsolv Max and will be run on the company’s indigenous energy management and controls software platform. Wärtsilä is confident of completing the floating energy storage system by the end of this year.

Aboitiz Power CEO and President, Emmanuel V. Rubio, said: “Wärtsilä will meet our urgent needs with this innovative and unique floating energy storage barge. Their ability to deliver this first-of-a-kind solution in less than 12 months is, to say the least, impressive.”

The Philippines comprises numerous islands which means that land available for constructing renewable energy plants is limited. In recent years, the government has identified floating energy plants as a good solution to meet both rising energy demands as well as building a sustainable future for the country. The Philippines’ Energy Department has a National Renewable Energy Programme in place which aims to increase the country’s renewable energy capacity to over 15GW by 2030.