AC Energy’s 150MW diesel plant starts commercial operations

Published October 6, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Luzon grid will gain additional capacity following the commercial operation of the 150-megawatt Ingrid diesel-fired power plant, a joint venture of AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) of the Ayala group and Axia Power Holdings Philippines Corp., a subsidiary of Japanese firm Marubeni Corporation.

According to the Ayala energy firm, the total investment for that diesel-fired power generating facility, which is sited in Pililla, Rizal had reached P1.9 billion.

The project’s completion and commercial operation had been strategically well timed because the country’s major power grid in Luzon will already be in need of capacity shoring up.

As emphasized by Jose Maria Zabaleta, chief development officer of AC Energy, “thermal firming capacity is critical to our energy transition strategy towards a low carbon portfolio.”

He explained that “to complement our renewables and to provide flexibility and stability to the grid, these firming assets will remain in our portfolio while we develop to scale up our energy storage facilities.”

AC Energy said the newly switched-on Pililla diesel plant is a quick-response electricity generating asset “to help remediate the spate of power supply disruptions and augment the energy supply amidst the Malampaya shutdown by starting to supply essential peaking and reserve power.”

The Malampaya gas production facility is currently under preventive maintenance shutdown – and that will last until October 22. Given that some gas plants’ generation would have to be de-rated (reduced), it is necessary that other plants will have to fill in the gap for those capacities taken out from the system while the gas production platform is on downtime.

For the Ingrid power facility, AC Energy noted that “to ensure high availability for the plant, UK-based company Aggreko installed 162 units of diesel generators, providing enough spare capacity.” The British firm will also be providing operations and maintenance (O&M) services to the diesel plant.

This is already the third power plant of AC Energy that had gotten off the ground to its commercial commissioning this year – the first two facilities that reached operational milestones have been its 63MW solar plant in Palauig, Zambales last April; and the 120MW Alaminos solar project in Laguna in June this year.

The three projects are now feeding about 333MW of aggregate capacity to the Luzon grid; and the next project completion in AC Energy’s blueprint would be its 72MW solar farm development in Arayat and Mexico, Pampanga which is its joint venture with Citicore Solar Energy Corporation.

Onward, the other energy ventures reaching commercial stream would be the Ayala firm’s 40-megawatt hour (MWh) battery storage plant in Alaminos, Laguna; and another 4.0MW installation in Bataan.

“As electricity demand continues to well up in a country in need of additional energy capacities and a stable transmission network, ACEN aims to help address the critically thin reserves by accelerating the development of its pipeline of power plants in the Philippines,” the Ayala company said. ###

 
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