Finnish technology group Wartsila has landed an engineering, procurement and construction contract to supply a barge-mounted energy storage system to Therma Marine for deployment offshore the Philippines.

Therma Marine, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation, will place Wartsila’s 54 megawatt/32 MWh barge next to its existing 100-MW thermal power barge in the municipality of Maco in the province of Davao de Oro to provide greater flexibility and meet reserve capacity agreements,

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The Philippines’ entrance into the floating energy storage market signals the importance of flexible assets for meeting renewable energy targets, especially in the region.

Floating power barges have become increasingly popular in the Philippines for scaling up renewable energy generating capacity because of its high population density, limited land availability and ability to utilise the many existing hydropower plants.

Wartsila on Tuesday confirmed that its unit would be supplied on a fast-track schedule with delivery due for completion in the fourth quarter.

“In addition to meeting Therma Marine’s needs, it is important to note that Wartsila is the sole EPC provider for this kind of a project,” said Kari Punnonen, Wartsila Energy business director, Australasia.

“The alternative would be to have one supplier for the barge and another for the energy storage system, which would require a lot of coordination and would undoubtedly slow the final delivery considerably.”

The contractor claimed this would be the first-ever deployment of a floating energy storage solution in the Southeast Asia region.

It will involve placing 10 Wartsila GridSolv Max systems, supported by the company’s advanced GEMS energy management platform on board a floating barge. The solution will provide flexibility for Therma Marine in its ancillary service contract with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Impressive, to say the least

“Wartsila 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,” added Aboitiz Power chief executive Emmanuel V Rubio.

The Finnish contractor noted its GridSolv Max energy storage solution architecture supports both stand-alone energy storage deployments as well as integrated hybrids with thermal or renewable generation assets.

Wartsila today has 26 power barge installations with total output of 1500 MW worldwide. A floating power barge enables the fast supply of electricity to areas with limited infrastructure and is a mobile asset, enabling relocation or trade.

In Southeast Asia, the company has total installed capacity of upwards of 9000 MW, of which 2000 MW were executed under EPC contracts, including approximately 300 MW of energy storage.