Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pure Energy-led venture to build 2 mini-hydropower plants in Quezon

Posted on May 02, 2017

TWO SUBSIDIARIES of Pure Energy Holdings Corp. and their partners have formed a consortium to start building mini-hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 2.9-megawatts (MW) in Real, Quezon.

In a statement, Pure Energy said its subsidiaries Blue Energy Holdings and Management Corp. and Repower Energy Development Corp. had teamed up with Giga United Power and businessman Willy N. Ocier for the P660-million project.

“After years of pre-development work, we look forward to starting the construction phase of our two mini-hydro projects in Quezon province,” said Christopher A.D. Tiu, Blue Energy president and chief executive, in a statement.

One of the plants with a capacity of 1.4 MW will cascade through the Labayat river, while the other 1.5 MW plant will cascade through the Tignoan river.

“These power plants will harness our abundant river waters to generate electricity in a clean and sustainable manner,” Mr. Tiu said.

He said the consortium expects the plants to generate more than 400 jobs.

The two mini-hydropower plants are also expected to power around 7,000 households while generating almost 17 gigawatt-hours yearly.

“They will deliver an average of 65% of plant capacity year round upon project completion,” the Pure Energy statement said.

The lower Labayat project will connect to Repower’s Labayat 1 hydropower plant, sharing the same transmission lines and access roads, while the upper Tignoan project will connect to the Repower’s adjacent switchyard.

Repower said that aside from the two mini-hydro projects, it will also be breaking ground on its 3-MW Lalawinan run-of-river hydropower plant within the month. It tapped distribution utility Manila Electric Co. as partner for the Lalawinan plant.

“(Repower) has been aggressive in building up a portfolio of hydropower projects in Luzon, Visayas, and in Mindanao,” Pure Energy said.

The Real plants, which are set for completion in 2019, target to avail of the guaranteed feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate for run-of-river hydro projects, for which the Department of Energy set a limit of 250 MW.

As of end 2016, the Energy Regulatory Commission issued FiT eligibility for a total of 144.804 MW, leaving enough for new mini-hydro developers.

Based on the ERC rules, projects completed two years after January 2015 will have a FiT rate of P5.8705 per kilowatt-hour, down from P5.90 per kWh during the initial years when the rules on FiT rates took effect.

Under the FiT system, qualified developers of emerging renewable energy sources are offered a fixed rate per kWh of their exported electricity, but excluding the energy for their own use.

Their entitlement is taken from a FiT allowance billed to all on-grid electricity consumers who are supplied with power through the distribution or transmission network. -- Victor V. Saulon

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