Prime Infra Arm Ahunan hands PSH Meralco

A SUBSIDIARY of Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc., led by Razon. (Prime Infra) has submitted a proposal from Manila Electric Company for the supply of 500 megawatts (MW) of medium power using pumped storage hydropower (PSH) as the energy storage system.

On Sunday, Meralco said its Third Party Application and Rewards Committee (TPBAC) has provided Ahunan Power, Inc. status of the original initiator. (Ahunan) for their proposal, which may be contested on a competitive basis in accordance with DOE regulations. This means that Ahunan has the right to compare any comparative offers.

“We are delighted to continue to offer innovative Meralco solutions and have therefore earned Ahunan’s original originator status. We look forward to continuing to provide renewable energy that is reliable and sustainable,” said Prime Infra Chairman Enrique C. Razon Jr.

Ahunan has nominated two PSH power plants, each of which can provide the required 500 MW of power in accordance with its proposal. The first is located in Laguna and is already in pre-development by Ahunan. The second, the PSH power plant at Wawa, Rizal, is under pre-development by Olympia Violago Water & Power, Inc. (OVVPI). Akhunan entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in OVWPI.

Ahunan and OVWPI have joint hydraulic service contracts for 1,200 MW and 500 MW, respectively. This represents an additional 8 percent of the reliable installed capacity of the Philippine power grid. The development of PSH power plants also represents a move away from traditional oil or gas based energy for average and peak performance. Lastly, PS is an energy storage system that enables greater penetration of renewable energy sources as it can both absorb and generate electricity in line with the variability of wind and solar farms.

Ahunan’s PSH units have a minimum guaranteed capacity of 12 hours per day, covering Meralco’s peak hours.

“This project is a testament to our goal of integrating ESG (environmental, social and governance) into the critical infrastructure assets we deliver. Prime Infra will continue to implement energy and other infrastructure projects that are environmentally sustainable and socially significant,” said Guillaume Lucci, President and CEO of Prime Infra.

PSH units store and generate electricity by moving water between two reservoirs at different heights. Water is pumped from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir during off-peak hours to store underused energy. After that, it is then released from the upper tank to the lower tank to generate electricity during times of high demand.