EDC putting up more solar power plants, energy storage systems

Originally published on business.inquirer.net

MANILA  -The Lopez family’s Energy Development Corp. (EDC) plans to build additional solar power plants and battery energy storage systems within its geothermal project sites to further expand its renewable energy portfolio and increase power supply across the country.

“We won’t go far because we already have space within our geothermal project sites. We’re looking at how we can maximize some small solar facilities inside our geothermal [power plants],” Allan Barcena, EDC head of corporate social responsibility and public relations, told reporters last week.

Barcena did not disclose further details about this undertaking but noted that it would be among the company’s priority projects in the next two years.

At present, EDC has 12 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity from two facilities in the country.

Apart from this, Barcena said they were also looking at completing more battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in 2024 and 2025.

“BESS is a concept that’s evolving … I think storage will continue to be an opportunity to capture additional energy capacity, whether in hydro, solar or geothermal,” he said.

BESS facilities are used to store excess power from power plants during off-peak hours. These are tapped for power when electricity demand increases to augment supply and prevent outages.

EDC signed an agreement in October with First Balfour Inc., the Lopezes’ construction and engineering unit, for the development of three BESS projects with a combined capacity of 40 MW.

These projects will be located within EDC’s geothermal power plants in Sorsogon, Leyte and Negros Oriental provinces.

The company has over 1,480 MW of installed capacity, 1,181 MW of which comes from its geothermal portfolio alone. This accounts for more than 60 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity.

Earlier this year, EDC vice chair and chief executive Francis Giles Puno announced that they were also planning on spending P60 billion to drill 40 additional wells in four provinces to boost the capacity of its geothermal power plants.

Puno had said that P30 billion of the total would be used to fund drilling operations in Leyte, Davao, Albay and Sorsogon provinces, while the remaining amount would be allotted for “other growth initiatives.”

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is First Gen Corporation’s 100% Renewable Energy (RE) subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20% of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Its 1,185MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, making the Philippines the third largest geothermal producer in the world. First Gen is the Philippines’ leading clean energy company.