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Business

First Gen spots additional RE sites in Nueva Ecija

Patrick Miguel - The Philippine Star
First Gen spots additional RE sites in Nueva Ecija
The additional facilities will grow First Gen’s renewable energy (RE) portfolio to nine gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from the current capacity of 1.5-GW.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led First Gen Corp. is looking at several areas near its hydroelectric power plant complex in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija as potential sites for the development of solar and wind farms, as well as a battery energy storage system (BESS).

The additional facilities will grow First Gen’s renewable energy (RE) portfolio to nine gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from the current capacity of 1.5-GW.

First Gen vice president Ricky Carandang said the identified areas satisfy each farm’s respective criteria.

He added that the areas for wind projects consist of acceptable wind speeds and proximity to transmission line substations.

“Locations under consideration for solar farms meet their own peculiar criteria, like high irradiance and a flat terrain, aside from proximity to transmission line substations,” Carandang said.

The company has filed with the Department of Energy (DOE) applications for RE service contracts for the wind projects.

Meanwhile, studies are being conducted for the viability in the locations of both ground-mounted and floating solar farms and BESS projects.

“There are several studies on-going and we see a timeframe of two to three years for these projects to come into fruition,” First Gen senior vice president Dennis Gonzales said.

Gonzales said the additional RE projects would complement its existing hydro projects.

First Gen is also developing a pumped-storage hydroelectric project at the Aya dam located near the Pantabangan-Casecnan complex.

The construction of the facility, which is expected to generate between 100 and 120 megawatts of electricity, will last about 36 months, following approval of pending regulatory processes.

Carandang said the projects would “complement the operations” of the company’s hydro plants.

“In the case of floating solar, they can even help preserve the water resource in the dam by slowing down the process of evaporation,” Carandang said.

The STAR earlier reported that the First Gen’s Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant (PHEPP) would cease operations as the head water level nears critical level.

Preventative maintenance will be conducted while the power plant is not operational.

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