Govt clears 12 power plants for impact studies

by Alena Mae S. Flores – March 20, 2017 at 09:01 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department cleared a dozen power generation projects, with a combined capacity of over 1,900 megawatts, to proceed to the next stage of development involving grid impact studies.

Data from the agency showed the department approving a planned 660-megawatt coal plant in Bataan, a 500-MW pumped storage hydro plant in Benguet and 10 renewable energy projects for grid impact studies as of March 20.

A grid impact study involves assessing the impact of a power project’s new or added capacity on the national electricity transmission grid.

The biggest project is Zestopower Corp.’s planned 660-MW plant in Mariveles, Bataan. One of Zestopower’s main shareholders is businessman Alfredo Yao.

The department also approved the grid impact study of the 500-MW Kibugan pumped storage hydro plant of Coheco Badeo Corp. in Benguet.

Other approved projects for grid impact study are the 100-MW Lal-lo solar power plant and 100-MW Maasim solar power plant of Natures Renewable Energy Corp.; and 150-MW Talisay wind project, 140-MW Talim wind project and 80-MW Calatagan wind project of Currimao Solar Energy Corp.

The agency also cleared Neoenergy Corp.’s 100-MW Magsingal solar power plant, Monte Solar Energy Inc.’s 54-MW Montesol wind project,   Phinma Energy Corp.’s 21.6-MW Ilog hydro power project, Total Power Inc.’s 5-MW diesel power plant and King Energy Generations Inc.’s 8.433-MW diesel plant.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said the country’s energy mix would primarily focus on developing baseload power plants to support the country’s rising power requirements.

“We are also in a situation that our energy supply is not that sufficient. We are still having an intermittent supply. We are experiencing, yellow, red, brownout,” Cusi said.

Cusi said the Duterte administration’s energy mix would involve 70 percent baseload power, referring to power plants that are able to run 24 hours; 20 percent mid-merit; and 10 percent peaking plant or those plants that can run during peak hours.

Cusi said baseload power plants would serve as the foundation of the economy.

“If your baseload is not efficient, then you will have an intermittent supply. So [we] need to have a strong baseload so we can prepare for industrialization,” he said.

Cusi said he would not put a cap on the the use of coal.  “There is an energy mix. It has always been there….We want it to be competitive so we don’t want a quota…We want an energy mix where there will be competition so coal, gas, geothermal, hydro or nuclear can compete in that 70 percent baseload,” he said.

The energy chief said through competition, power rates were expected to go down. The Philippines still has one of the highest power rates in the Asia.

“They will compete and then you will really experience CSP [competitive selection process] so power rates will go down,” Cusi said.

Cusi said the energy mix “could change depending on technology development so they just have to adjust.”