Private sector-initiated power generation projects with a combined committed rated capacity of over 700 megawatts (MW) are targeted to begin commercial operations in the Visayas in 2019.
Additional projects with an indicative capacity of almost 4,000 MW are also being planned in the Visayas.
Committed capacity refers to projects that have already secured funding while indicative capacity refers to projects that have applied for Department of Energy (DOE) endorsement and other regulatory permits but have yet to secure financial closing.
According to the DOE’s list of Private Sector-Initiated Power Projects as of January 31, 2019, committed projects that are expected this year will bring in a total of 784.68 MW.
Among these are two coal plants with a combined capacity of 435 MW, which comprise more than half of the total rated capacity.
Only one project is being undertaken in Cebu, but it is also the biggest.
The coal-fired power plant of AboitizPower-led Therma Visayas, Inc., with a net capacity of 300 MW, is currently undergoing testing in Barangay Bato, Toledo City. Unit 1 is targeted to go online within the first quarter of 2019, while Unit 2 will follow within the year.
Another coal-fired unit of Palm Conception Power Corp. (formerly DMCI Concepcion Power Corp.), with a capacity of 135 MW, is also targeted to be commissioned this year in Concepcion town in Iloilo.
Renewable energy (RE) projects will generate a total of 279.7 MW, about a third of the total committed capacity in the Visayas, the DOE list showed.
RE includes geothermal, hydropower and biomass projects. Among these three RE sources, biomass would generate the biggest at 206.58 MW. Geothermal will contribute 50 MW while hydropower will provide 23.1 MW.
Based on the DOE list, three biomass projects in Negros Occidental are undergoing testing and are targeted to begin commercial operations in March 2019.
These are the 40-MW cogeneration power plant of Victorias Milling Co., Inc.; the 20-MW multi-feedstock power plant of San Carlos Biopower, Inc.; and the 20.58-MW cogeneration power plant of Hawaiian Philippine Company.
Two more biomass projects in Negros Occidental will go online in June 2019: the 48-MW BISCOM, Inc. cogeneration power plant in Binalbagan; and the 25-MW Central Azucarera de Bais bagasse-fired cogeneration plant in Bais.
The North Negros Biopower, Inc. and South Negros Bio Power, Inc., each with 25 MW, are targeted to start commercial operations in December 2019 while a 3-MW project by HDI Bayawan Agri-Venture Corp. will go online in September 2019.
The only committed geothermal project is being built by Biliran Geothermal, Inc. in Biliran. It will have six generating units - two 5-MW units and four 10-MW units - with a total capacity of 50 MW. The first unit will start operations in July 2021 while the sixth will go online by June 2026.
In terms of hydropower, two projects on Panay Island will begin operations in December 2019. Century Peak Energy Corp. will provide 5.1 MW from its Igbulo power plant in Iloilo while Oriental Energy and Power Generation Corp. will produce 18 MW from its power plant in Aklan.
Aside from the coal and RE projects, a 70-MW diesel/oil plant by Isabel Ancillary Services Co. Ltd. (formerly Marubeni Diesel Genset Facility) will start commercial operations in August 2019.
A separate DOE list shows a total of 63 projects with a combined indicative rated capacity of 3,901 MW.
Among the biggest are:
500-MW Iloilo 2 Wind Power Project and 213-MW Iloilo 1 Wind Power Project by Energy Development Corp. (EDC) in Concepcion and Batad, Iloilo;
300-MW coal plant by SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. in Mactan, Cebu;
300-MW coal plant by SMC Global in San Carlos, Negros Occidental;
300-MW solar plant by Solar Philippines, Inc. in Medellin, Cebu;
300-MW pumped storage hydropower project by Strategic Power Development Corp. in Malay, Aklan;
300-MW Bolusao pumped storage by San Lorenzo Samar and Water, Inc. in Lawaan, Eastern Samar; and
262-MW Negros Wind Power Project by EDC in Negros Occidental.
Aside from the planned 300-MW SMC Global coal plant in Mactan and the 300-MW Solar Philippines plant in Medellin, there are 10 other proposed power generation projects in Cebu.
General Milling Corp. is building three diesel-fired power plants (5.5 MW, 2 MW, 1 MW) within its GMC Complex in Lapu-Lapu City.
Three other solar projects are being proposed: a 100-MW facility by CEKO Solar Farm Systems Corp. in Daanbantayan, Cebu; and 16.7-MW and 15-MW generating units by Sun Premier Bogo Philippine Corp. in Bogo.
Also on the list of indicative projects in Cebu are four battery energy storage systems (BESS), three of which will be built by SMCGP Philippines Energy Storage Co. Ltd. in Mactan, Compostela and Samboan.
Each SMCGP project will have a capacity of 20 MW while the fourth planned BESS facility in Cebu, with a capacity of 6 MW, will be built by Global Business Power Corp. in Toledo City.
SMCGP, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation’s power company SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., will also undertake BESS projects in Caticlan, Iloilo, Ormoc, Tabango and Bohol.
As of Sunday, March 17, 2019, the Visayas had a system capacity of 2,114 MW and a peak demand of 1,520 MW with reserves of 594 MW. The Visayas and Mindanao have about the same capacity and demand, each of which is only about a fifth of Luzon’s. (Ventures Cebu)