First Gen Hydro Power Corp. of the Lopez Group is investing P6 billion to develop the 120-megawatt Aya pumped-storage project in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
FGHPC, the hydro arm of First Gen Corp., said in a report to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources the proposed storage facility aimed to address the intermittent regulation of power in Luzon.
“This will also provide technical capability in delivering ancillary services, which will allow for full-year operations of independent irrigation demands from the Pantabangan Reservoir,” it said.
The project will have a maximum generation capacity of 120 MW from two units of 60-MW turbines.
FGHPC in December 2019 received a hydropower service contract from the Department of Energy for the exclusive development of the project.
FGHPC said Luzon’s growing demand for power placed a strain on the electricity grid and that the company was pursuing the project to partially address these demands and provide stability to support the utilization of renewable energy.
The project will tap the Aya and Masiway reservoirs. The conventional pumped-storage plant will release water from the upper reservoir during peak hours and the same volume pumped during off-peak hours.
“FGHPC intends to grow its portfolio in renewable energy and optimize the hydropower potential and benefits to the municipality of Pantabangan by developing the 120 MW Aya pumped-storage project,” it said.
FGHPC said the Aya pumped-storage project is aligned with the government energy policies and the National Renewable Energy Plan through its significant contribution to the Luzon Grid.
It said the project would contribute to the hydropower sector, fill the need for the expected increase in energy demand and introduce clean energy that is environmentally sustainable and more affordable than conventional fossil-fuel power plants.
It would also contribute to the projected total installed capacity of 6,207.5 MW for hydropower in Luzon by 2030.
FGHPC owns and operates the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydro power plant complex in Nueva Ecija, which is a part of a multipurpose project that provides irrigation to the rice lands of Nueva Ecija. It has the largest storage-type hydropower facility in the country with three billion cubic meters.