Lopez firm to expand capacity of geothermal plants
Lopez group-owned Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is looking to establish binary plants at its existing geothermal facilities in the country by the end of this year to boost its power-generation capacity.
EDC head of corporate social responsibility Allan Barcelona said at a media briefing at the sidelines of the 3rd Philippine Environmental Summit in Cagayan de Oro City that this was the company’s response to the growing demand for renewable energy and the shrinking number of areas for geothermal plants.
“We are now complying with the permit requirements,” he said. “These binary plants are actually to maximize steam and there’s no need to build power plants.”
Binary plants have the capacity to provide 5 to 20 megawatts and are easier to set up compared to conventional power plants, although the latter has a bigger capacity of 100 MW or more.
Barcelona explained that most of the remaining areas for geothermal energy in the country were already considered protected areas, making the move to binary plants the most practical decision.
EDC has the biggest portfolio of power plants that use renewable technology. It operates in Leyte, Negros Oriental, Cotabato and Albay with a combined power generation capacity of up to 1,400 MW.
About 37 percent of the country’s total renewable energy power generation market is already cornered by EDC.
While projects may be established in protected areas, doing so could be very tedious given the presence of important ecosystems and wildlife that thrive in those locations.
Barcelona also noted that tampering with the country’s protected areas would go against the company’s commitment to protect and preserve the environment.
The company has yet to disclose its earnings for 2019, but the official said that last year was a record-high for EDC. —KARL R. OCAMPO
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