Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) is pushing the envelope in its thrust to expand its renewable energy portfolio with a novel way of harvesting unutilized geothermal heat from the Tiwi, Albay geothermal project, the country’s oldest geothermal power project.
Photo Insert: (L-R) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Dir. Maria Socorro A. Abu, DOE Representative Ariel Fronda, Philippine Geothermal Production Company (PGPC) President Napoleon Saporsantos, Ormat Business Development Director Nissan Yamin, Tiwi Mayor Jaime Villanueva, AP Renewables Inc. (APRI) President and COO Jeffrey Estrella, Department of Energy (DOE) ASec Mario Marasigan, AboitizPower COO for Renewable Energy Generation Alex Coo, Desco President Sherwin Mendiola, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) Legal Department Manager Atty. Frederick Tamayo, and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Sr. Mgr. South Luzon District 3 Peter Borja.
The innovative project, dubbed the Tiwi Binary Geothermal Power Plant Project, will be handled by Aboitiz Power’s subsidiary AP Renewables Inc., which recently hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the soon-to-be-built 17 megawatt (MW) binary plant on the 1.5-hectare site of the Tiwi geothermal power site.
The project will be constructed from the ground up, with a completely new binary plant system, pipes, and transmission line. It is expected to be on stream by the end of the year.
Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy generated by drilling production wells into the ground to extract high-temperature fluids from geothermal reservoirs. The binary geothermal power plant harvests residual heat from the hot brine side of the geothermal production process, which would otherwise go unutilized before being reinjected back into the earth.
The concept of recovering heat from geothermal brine and converting it into electricity is a novel solution that improves thermal efficiency overall. Also, the binary plant emits no pollutants into the environment because its binary fluid operates in a closed-loop system.
“The Tiwi Binary Power Plant is a facility designed to extract the recoverable heat from the geothermal brine that is processed in a closed-loop system where no harmful gas or liquid is being emitted nor any waste products are discharged to the atmosphere," said APRI President and COO Jeffrey Estrella.
This innovative design is expected to generate an additional 17MW of gross generated electricity, providing the Luzon Grid with another source of clean energy. The APRI Tiwi Binary Project is one example of AboitizPower's goal of increasing its Cleanergy attributable capacity by the end of the decade.
Cleanergy is the brand name for AboitizPower's renewable energy (RE) solutions. Power derived from run-of-river, large hydro, solar, geothermal, and, soon, wind is harnessed at Cleanergy facilities across the country to provide clean, zero-emissions energy to businesses and communities.
AboitizPower plans to significantly expand its Cleanergy portfolio by the end of 2030 to support the government's efforts to promote renewable energy in the country. The company will add 3,700 MW of renewable energy capacity, bringing its total capacity to 4,600 MW, or three times the company's current renewables portfolio, by 2030. To date, it has approximately 1,000 MW of disclosed RE projects and is on track to meet its targets.
Jimmy A. Villamoran, Chief Renewables Officer at AboitizPower, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the company's partners. “This is as much of an achievement for AboitizPower as it is for our partners, especially the good folks from Ormat Technologies, Desco, and our friends from the Philippine Geothermal Production Company (PGPC). As our country embarks on an energy transition, we recognize we must work with others both within and outside our industry to contribute to the nation’s energy goals. The scale of the transformation of the country’s energy system requires collaboration and innovation. This project is a testament to that.”
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), the Provincial Capitol of Albay, the Municipality and Local Government Units of Tiwi, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Geothermal Production Company (PGPC), the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the National Power Corporation (NPC), and contractors also attended the event.