Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC) and Austria-based Gugler Water Turbines GMBH (Gugler) have teamed up to develop seawater pumped storage projects.
The subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corp. said Thursday that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Gugler to 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 320-megawatt (MW) seawater-pumped storage facility in Luzon. 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. It, however, did not divulge yet the exact location. The company is currently securing the necessary endorsements from the local government unit 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. 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,” said REDC President Eric Peter Y. Roxas.
He added that the MOA will allow REDC to diversify and enhance its capabilities as an emerging player in the hydropower space.
“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,” said Roxas.
In Asia, Gugler is the technology partner of Korea Midland Power Co., which operates the Shinseocheon Seawater Hydropower Plant based in South Korea.
REDC has 6 operating power plants in Laguna, Quezon and Camarines Sur. Two more power plants will come online by June 2023, increasing the company’s operational capacity by over 60 percent.
The company earlier said it has set its sights on “growing another 1,000 megawatts in its portfolio, concentrated on hydropower projects, possibly upstream and downstream of existing power plants and seawater pump storage” in the next 5 years.
Roxas said hydropower is one of the most efficient types of renewable energy compared to solar power plants whose efficiency is around 12.7 percent, while wind power plants have an efficiency of around 33 percent.
“Our hydropower plants, which we were operating for the past 7 years, have a capacity factor [efficiency] of around 72 percent. We have a very high plant factor and good hydrology,” Roxas said, adding that its hydropower plants offer cheaper rates.
“For example, the wholesale market is doing P8 to P9 because of the high oil prices. We are stable at around P5.87. Solar [is around] P8 to P9 per kilowatt-hour.”
The company is expecting a net income of P300 million this year from P168 million posted last year.