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First Gen mulls over 120-MW pumped storage plant in Pantabangan

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First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group said over the weekend it is developing a 120-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric facility in Aya, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija province.

First Gen said in a statement it received a hydro service contract from the Department of Energy to develop the Aya pumped-storage hydro project.

First Gen, through First Gen Hydro Power Corp., owns and operates the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydro power plant project in Pantabangan.

Once completed, the new Aya project will allow First Gen to store water pumped into a reservoir for use at a later time.

“While renewable energy is clean and sustainable, it isn’t always available when it’s needed. But with a pump storage facility like the one we want to build in Pantabangan, we will be able to store some of the energy generated by the dam and deploy it when it’s needed,” said First Gen vice president Ricky Carandang.

A pumped-storage facility stores and generates electricity by moving a volume of water between two reservoirs situated at different elevations.

Pumped-storage facilities can also be flexibly operated to provide ancillary or reserve services to the electricity grid for security and stability.

The service contract gives First Gen Hydro five years to conduct pre-development stage activities—from a preliminary assessment and feasibility study up to financial closing and declaration of commerciality.

First Gen Hydro signed in October a memorandum of understanding with the National Irrigation Administration related to the development of the Aya hydro project.

The NIA said the agreement would complement the Pantabangan-Masiway hydro power plant project through an acceptable scheme under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

First Gen requested and received NIA’s permission to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study on the project, including legal, economic, social, financial and technical viabilities.

First Gen is also pursuing other hydroelectric projects in Bukidnon and Agusan del Norte.

First Gen is the largest company in the country that provides only clean and renewable power. In 2016, it declared that it would not develop, finance or operate any coal-fired power plants.

Its portfolio of clean energy power plants run on natural gas, geothermal, wind and solar with a combined capacity of 3,492 MW at the end of 2019.


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