First Gen Corporation has been awarded a hydro service contract by the Department of Energy to develop a 120-megawatt (MW) pumped-storage hydroelectric facility in Aya, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
First Gen, through First Gen Hydro Power Corporation, owns and operates the existing 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant project in Pantabangan. Once completed, the new Aya project will allow First Gen to store water pumped into a reservoir for use at a later time.
“While renewable energy is clean and sustainable, it isn’t always available when it’s needed,” said Ricky Carandang, First Gen vice president. “But with a pump storage facility like the one we want to build in Pantabangan, we will be able to store some of the energy generated by the dam and deploy it when it’s needed.”
A pumped-storage facility stores and generates electricity by moving a volume of water between two reservoirs situated at different elevations (upper and lower reservoirs). Aside from energy, pumped-storage facilities can be flexibly operated to provide ancillary services to electricity grids for grid security and stability.
The hydro service contract gives First Gen, through First Gen Hydro, five years to conduct predevelopment stage activities—from a preliminary assessment and feasibility study up to financial closing and declaration of commerciality.
First Gen through First Gen Hydro earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Irrigation Administration related to the development of the same Aya hydro project. First Gen is also pursuing other hydroelectric projects in Bukidnon and Agusan del Norte. (Story/Photos by: Joel Gaborni)