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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Razon’s unit takes over hydro firm

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Ahunan Power Inc., a subsidiary of Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. of business tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., agreed to acquire a 67-percent stake in renewable energy developer Olympia Violago Water and Power Inc.

OVWPI is in the pre-development stage of the 500-megawatt Wawa Pumped Storage Hydropower project in Rizal province, with construction targeted to start next year.

“The agreement will integrate Ahunan and OVWPI’s capabilities in support of Prime Infra’s energy business objective―to respond quickly to demand through clean and renewable power,” Prime Infra president and chief executive Guillaume Lucci said in a statement.

PSH plants store and generate electricity by moving water between two reservoirs at different elevations. Water is pumped from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir during off-peak hours to store underutilized energy, then released from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir to generate electricity in times of high demand.

The agreement increases the energy storage capacity of Prime Infra’s renewable energy portfolio by 6,000 megawatt-hours per day or a maximum continuous generation at 500 MW for 12 hours.

“Ahunan’s hydropower projects are aligned with the government’s thrust to accelerate the development of renewable energy resources and reduce heavy reliance on fossil fuels,” Lucci said.

Ahunan offered to supply power retailer Manila Electric Co. with 500 MW of mid-merit power using pumped storage hydropower as an energy storage system.

Ahunan’s offer is subject to competitive challenge under the Department of Energy rules, with Ahunan having the right to match any comparative proposals.

Ahunan, in a bid to ensure the timely supply of power to Meralco, nominated two pumped hydro plants, either of which can supply the needed 500-MW energy under its offer.

The first is located in Laguna and is undergoing pre-development by Ahunan, and the second is OVWPI’s pumped hydro plant in Wawa, Rizal, under pre-development.

Ahunan said the development of pumped storage plants is a move away from the traditional oil or gas-based power for mid-merit and peaking.

It said the pumped storage project is also an energy storage system, allowing greater penetration of renewable energy sources as it can absorb and generate electricity to follow the variability of wind and solar plants.

Ahunan’s pumped storage plants have a capability of a minimum guaranteed output of 12 hours per day covering the peak hours of Meralco.

Other renewable projects in Prime Infra’s pipeline are a 1,200-MW PSH plant in Pakil, Laguna; a solar project in Tanauan, Batangas and Maragondon, Cavite; and the Terra Solar project, a solar power facility with a capacity of 2,500 MW combined with 4,000-MWh battery energy storage system.

Prime Infra is Razon’s infrastructure arm that focuses on building assets that support the most urgent sustainability priorities―energy, access to clean water, waste management and viable critical infrastructure.

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