Pumped hydro storage takes shape in the Philippines


Prime Infrastructure‘s subsidiary, Ahunan Power, has acquired a majority stake in renewable energy developer Olympia Violago Water and Power (OVWPI), which owns the rights to develop a 500 MW pumped hydro storage project.

It did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

“The agreement increases the energy storage capacity of Prime Infra’s renewable energy portfolio by 6,000MWh/day which is defined by a maximum continuous generation at 500MW for 12 hours,” said Prima Infra CEO Guillaume Lucci.

The facility will require an investment of approximately $1 billion and will be located at the Wawa/Montalban dam in Rizal province. Construction is scheduled to start next year.

In 2017, OVWPI awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the project to Power Construction Corp. of China (PowerChina). At the time, the project was being developed by San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers (SLRB) and Equis Energy (Equis).

Prime Infra is also developing a 1,400 MW pumped storage hydropower project in Pakil, Laguna province. Construction of the $1.11 billion project is scheduled to begin in 2023, with completion set for no later than the first quarter of 2027. The first stage of the project will feed 700 MW of electricity into the grid for primary and tertiary reserve ancillary services, while the second stage will generate 500 MW for mid-merit services.

Prime Infra is also building a 2.5 GW to 3.5 GW solar farm tied to 4 GWh to 4.5 GWh of battery energy storage, in order to help power the Philippines, as the nation ramps up its transition to renewable energy.

According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Philippines had around 3,785 MW of hydropower capacity and 736 MW of pumped hydro capacity at the end of 2021. The government aims to increase the share of renewables in the power mix from 21% in 2020 to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. Renewables currently account for 29.1% of the nation’s total installed capacity.

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