TIWI, ALBAY—AP Renewables Inc. on Tuesday broke ground on the 17-megawatt Tiwi binary geothermal project within the 1.5-hectare site of the first and oldest geothermal power plant in the Philippines.
The event paves the way for the construction of Aboitiz Power Corp. subsidiary APRI’s binary power plant—an entirely new binary plant system. Project completion is expected by the end of 2023.
“The Tiwi Binary Power Plant is a facility designed to extract the recoverable heat from the geothermal brine that is processed in a closed-loop system, where no harmful gas or liquid is being emitted nor any waste products are discharged to the atmosphere,” APRI president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Estrella said.
“The design will produce an additional 17 MW gross generated electricity—an additional source of clean energy to the Luzon grid,” Estrella said.
He said geothermal energy, a form of renewable energy, comes from the earth’s heat and is produced by drilling production wells into the ground to tap high-temperature fluids from geothermal reservoirs.
Residual heat from the hot brine side of the geothermal production process, otherwise unutilized before reinjecting back to the earth, is harvested to produce electricity through the binary geothermal power plant.
APRI said the concept of recovering heat from the geothermal brine and converting it into electricity is a novel solution that improves its overall thermal efficiency.
The binary plant has no emission to the environment as its binary fluid operates in a closed-loop system.
Aboitiz Power said the Tiwi binary project is a testament to its ambition to grow its renewable energy-attributable capacity under the Cleanenergy brand which includes run-of-river, large hydro, solar, geothermal and soon, wind to provide clean, zero-emissions energy to businesses and communities.
APRI delivers 290 MW of baseload geothermal power from its two facilities in Tiwi, Albay and the areas of Bay and Calauan in Laguna and Sto. Tomas in Batangas.
APRI said it continued to improve the daily operations of its geothermal plants since its acquisition in 2009.
Meanwhile, Aboitiz Power targets to build an additional 3,700 MW of RE, growing its capacities to 4,600 MW by 2030. The company has 1,000 MW of disclosed RE projects and is on its way toward achieving its targets.
Aboitiz Power chief renewables officer Jimmy Villamoran lauded the company’s partners, Ormat Technologies, Desco and the Philippine Geothermal Production Co.
“As our country embarks on an energy transition, we recognize we must work with others both within and outside our industry to contribute to the nation’s energy goals. The scale of the transformation of the country’s energy system requires collaboration and innovation. This project is a testament to that,” Villaroman said.