First Gen expects 400 MW from Nueva Ecija hydro facilities by 2028

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LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp. said it expects a capacity of about 400 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from its hydropower facilities in Nueva Ecija by 2028.

The capacity will come from the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant (HEPP), the 165-MW Casecnan HEPP, and the planned 100-120-MW Aya pumped-storage hydropower project, First Gen Senior Vice-President Dennis P. Gonzales told reporters on Monday.

“The whole complex actually goes up to 400 MW of clean renewable hydro capacity and all that is to help augment the power requirements of the country,“ he said.

Last month, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) handed over the operations of the Casecnan hydro facilities to First Gen’s subsidiary, Fresh River Lakes Corp. (FRLC).

In May 2023, PSALM secured the highest bid from FRLC with a price of $526 million, higher than the minimum bid price of $227.27 million.

The Casecnan hydro is a run-of-river type of power facility that generates energy by diverting water from the Casecnan and Taan rivers through a 26-kilometer-long tunnel.

Meanwhile, the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway HEPP is owned by the First Gen Hydro Power Corp., another subsidiary of the Lopez-led energy company.

The proposed pumped-storage hydropower project is waiting for the go signal from the NIA, Mr. Gonzales said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera