First Gen closer to building RE projects near dams

First Gen closer to building RE projects near dams

MANILA, Philippines — The Lopez Group’s First Gen Corp. takes another step closer to put up solar and wind farms as well as a battery energy storage system (BESS) around its hydroelectric power plant complex in Nueva Ecija, having identified potential areas for these projects.

The development of such facilities will help expand First Gen’s renewable energy portfolio to 9 gigawatts by 2030, company vice president Ricky Carandang told reporters.

The listed firm did not provide additional information about the potential power projects, including cost, timeline, capacity and specific location of these facilities.


But it has filed the corresponding applications with the Department of Energy to secure contracts for building wind projects. Studies are ongoing to confirm the viability in the locations of both ground-mounted and floating solar farms and BESS projects.


According to Carandang, the projects won’t have an adverse impact on the environment but will instead complement operations of First Gen’s hydro plants in the area.

Floating solar, for instance, can help preserve the water resource in the dam by slowing down the process of evaporation.

READ: First Gen bares renewable energy expansion plans

“Sites under consideration in Pantabangan for wind projects satisfy several criteria, like acceptable wind speeds and proximity to transmission line substations; while locations under consideration for solar farms meet their own peculiar criteria, like high irradiance and a flat terrain, aside from proximity to transmission line substations,” he added.


Earlier, First Gen senior vice president Dennis Gonzales said the company is studying the possible sites for other renewable projects near its 132-megawatt Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant and its newly acquired 165-MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant.

READ: First Gen taps P20-B loan for Casecnan hydro power project


Gonzales said there are several studies on-going and that they see a timeframe of two to three years for these projects to come into fruition.

Aside from these, First Gen intends to build the P6-billion pumped-storage hydroelectric project at the Aya Dam, situated within the Pantabangan-Casecnan complex.

Upon securing regulatory approvals, First Gen said the construction of the facility, which can generate about 100 to 120 MW, will take about 36 months.
First Gen aims to grow its total capacity to 13,000 MW in the next six years, of which 7,500 MW will come from new RE projects.

READFirst Gen doubles capex budget after Casecnan hydro win

“The expansion program is First Gen’s way of supporting the government’s own plan of increasing RE’s share in the country’s power mix to 35 percent by the year 2030,” it said.

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The firm has raised the combined capacity of its low-carbon power plants to 3,666 MW after state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. turned over the Casecnan power plant to subsidiary Fresh River Lakes Corp. in February this year.

TAGS: First Gen, renewable energy, solar, wind power

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