AC Energy sees commercial operation of diesel plant in Rizal by H2 of 2020

By Lenie Lectura – August 20, 2019
from Business Mirror

AC Energy Inc., the power arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp., wants to start construction of its planned diesel plant in Pililia, Rizal, this year, with target commercial operation date set in the second half of 2020.

“That’s still a live project especially now there’s still a looming tightness supply. This will come in handy,” said AC Energy President Eric Francia.

The power facility’s capacity is 300 megawatts but the project will be done in phases, starting with 150 MW.

Francia said construction would take less than a year. “We need this capacity, 150 MW. Construction will be fast, less than a year.”

“We’re hoping that construction will start this year. If not, early next year, so regardless, we’re targeting commercial operation by second half of next year.

The conduct of a grid impact study for the diesel power project was approved earlier by the Department of Energy (DOE).  A clearance to conduct a GIS is necessary before the project proponent can proceed with the construction.

Francia had said it makes sense to put up a diesel plant to cater to ancillary services to augment renewable-energy (RE) technologies.

He explained that diesel-run power plants are used to provide ancillary services, such as backup power, load following, system frequency and voltage regulation. They are like standby power plants if say, a wind power facility does not provide too much wind or if it rains in an area where a solar power farm is located.

“We believe the country will need more peaking and reserve ancillary capacity especially in a world where you need RE. This is in line with the thinking that if RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) succeeds, then you need ancillary for that,” Francia had said.

AC Energy now has approximately 1,600 MW of attributable capacity, of which 55 percent are coal-fired power plants, 11 percent diesel-fired facilities and 34 percent renewable energy.

“Our renewables now is about 600 MW out of the 1,600 MW. We do expect to reach the 1,000 MW of RE in the next 12 months,” he said.

Of the existing capacity, Francia said 74 percent are based in the Philippines and 26 percent in regional sites.

He said 69 percent of the attributable capacity comes from power plants that are operating, while the 31 percent are ongoing projects.

The company’s long-term goal is to exceed 5 gigawatts of attributable capacity and generate at least 50 percent of energy from renewables by 2025.