EDC awaits ERC okay to build P130-million facility to connect geothermal project to Luzon grid

by Lenie Lectura – December 29, 2015

from Business Mirror

THE Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is seeking regulatory approval to construct a P130-million facility that will connect its geothermal expansion project to the Luzon grid.

The EDC’s 31-megawatt (MW) Bac-Man 3 geothermal power plant in Sorsogon province is expected to be operational by December 2017. Once this power plant is operational, it would help alleviate the increasing energy demand in Luzon.

Based on the 2013 supply-demand outlook, the existing capacity of the Luzon grid as of 2015 is 11,612 MW.

The Department of Energy projects that an additional capacity of 1,000 MW will be needed by 2017.

This projection assumes that the committed plants for the period are completed according to schedule.

In order to supply the energy to be generated by the Bac-Man 3 project to the public, the EDC must connect the plant to the Luzon grid. For this purpose, the EDC intends to construct a connection asset for its exclusive use, which shall connect the plant directly to the Palayan Bayan switchyard.

The proposed interconnection project consists of a 230-kilovolt (kV) connection asset, composed of transmission wires, steel towers, steel poles and other related facilities.

“Given the needed additional capacity by 2017 and onward as projected by the DOE, the completion of the Bac-Man 3 within the projected time frame is critical to ensure that additional capacity will be available for the Luzon grid in a timely manner.

The EDC is asking that “the commission provisionally authorize the development, ownership and operation of the connection project, considering that the impending power crisis projected by the DOE warrants the issuance of a provisional authority,” the EDC said in its 13-page application.

The ERC has set a hearing on January 20 next year to tackle the EDC’s application.

The Bac-Man 3 project costs P7.6 billion. The EDC said it has sufficient funds on hand to undertake the project, including the interconnection project.

In September the EDC signed a design and equipment supply contract with Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd. and a construction services contract with Galing Power and Energy Construction Co. Inc., for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Bac-Man 3.

The addition of Bac-Man 3 project to the EDC’s geothermal portfolio solidifies its leadership in the Philippine geothermal industry. The EDC owns and operates 1,169 MW of integrated geothermal projects in Leyte, Negros Islands, Bicol and North Cotabato. It also successfully commissioned the 150-MW Burgos Wind Project, the largest in Southeast Asia. Aside from geothermal and wind, the EDC also operates hydropower and solar-energy plants.