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First Gen seeks contract for wind projects near Nueva Ecija facilities

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LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp. has filed applications with the Department of Energy for service contracts to develop wind projects around its hydroelectric power plants in Nueva Ecija.

“Sites under consideration in Pantabangan for wind projects satisfy several criteria, like acceptable wind speeds and proximity to transmission line substations,” First Gen Vice-President Ramon A. Carandang said in a statement on Tuesday.

“While locations under construction for solar farms meet their own peculiar criteria like high irradiance and a flat terrain, aside from proximity to transmission line substation,” he added.

Studies are ongoing to confirm the viability of both ground-mounted and floating solar in the locations, as well as battery energy storage systems, First Gen said.

The company is considering to put up such technologies near its existing 132-megawatt (MW) Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant and its newly acquired 165-MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant.

“The projects also will have no adverse impact on the environment but will instead complement the operations of First Gen’s hydro plants in the area,” Mr. Carandang said. 

“In the case of floating solar, they can even help preserve the water resource in the dam by slowing down the process of evaporation.”

First Gen Senior Vice-President Dennis P. Gonzales has said that the company is expecting about 400 MW of renewable energy capacity from its hydropower facilities by 2028 as it plans to construct 100-120-MW Aya pumped-storage hydropower project.

The project has an estimated cost of P6 billion and a construction timeline of 36 months.

To date, First Gen has a total renewable energy capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW) and is seeking to grow its portfolio capacity to nine GW by 2030 with the development of new projects. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera