REDC, Austrian firm to develop pumped storage hydro power plants

Repower Energy Development Corporation (REDC) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Austria-based Gugler Water Turbines GMBH for the development of seawater pumped storage projects at several designated sites around the Philippines.

In a statement, REDC said this partnership will bring this proprietary technology to the country, allowing REDC to be the first energy developer to have seawater pumped storage projects in its portfolio.

The first project will be a 320MW seawater-pumped storage facility in the Luzon region. The elevation of this project will be around 300 meters above sea level, and the lower reservoir will utilize the coastline for unlimited seawater intake.

REDC has identified an area in Luzon for the development of this project. The company is currently securing the necessary endorsements from the LGU and indigenous communities so that the development of a pilot 50 MW facility can push through.

“We are pleased to enter into a partnership with Gugler — a leading provider of state-of-the art turbine technology,” REDC President and CEO Eric Peter Y. Roxas said.

He added that, “We are looking to replicate Gugler’s success in a similar venture it has in South Korea, to further our ultimate goal of uplifting living standards to communities by providing clean energy.”

“The year 2023 promises to be full of potential for REDC, given our ongoing construction of various run-of-the-river hydropower projects in provinces such as Bukidnon and Quezon,” Roxas noted.

He said “This Agreement will allow us to diversify the services we provide, thus enabling us to enhance our capabilities as an emerging player in the hydropower space.”

In Asia, Gugler is the technology partner of Korea Midland Power Co. — which operates the Shinseocheon Seawater Hydropower Plant based in South Korea.

According to DOE officials, they are currently working on a Green Energy Auction Program – 3 (GEAP-3) for hydropower pumped storage and geothermal to be scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023, as the department still needs to develop a specific auction policy and guidelines for it.

“The most feasible and [most cost-efficient] energy storage system is still pumped storage hydro,” DOE’s Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol said at an energy forum.