ABOITIZPOWER Corp. (AboitizPower) is expecting about 400 megawatts (MW) of new capacities this year, particularly from the development of its solar power plants, its top official said.

“Almost 400 megawatts overall,” AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio told reporters on Tuesday.

The company, through its subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables, Inc., is putting up a 159-MW-peak (MWp) solar plant Laoag, Pangasinan, a 44-MWp solar plant in Armenia, Tarlac, and a 173-MWp solar plant in Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

Some of the solar power projects are targeted to come online by the second quarter of 2024.

AboitizPower’s renewable energy arm in geothermal power, AP Renewables, Inc., is also aiming to energize a 17-MW binary geothermal power plant in Tiwi, Albay by the first quarter of this year.

The company has allocated P50 billion as capital expenditures budget for 2024, primarily for renewable energy projects.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rubio said that the company is planning a third unit expansion of the 340-MW Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) coal plant in Toledo City, Cebu. The company is still exploring the type of technology to use for the expansion.

“We are looking at delivering [power from] this unit by 2027,” Mr. Rubio said, noting that they will go to the company’s board for approval.

He said that the company presented three options to the Department of Energy (DoE): coal-fired power generation, solar energy, and liquefied natural gas.

“If DoE will allow us to build it because of the moratorium, but from the start, TVI 3 already have that permit because it is part of the original design of the TVI,” Mr. Rubio said.

“We already have an ECC (environmental compliance certificate). If we are going to be strict about it, it should be outside the moratorium. We asked DoE for a certification and we got that. So now we are developing that,” he added.

In 2020, the government imposed a moratorium on the endorsement of new greenfield coal-fired plants, signaling a shift to a more flexible power mix.

“Any capacity in Cebu, especially during peak, will help. The estimate is Cebu will need 180-210 megawatts new capacity. The export from Mindanao will be taken up in a year,” Mr. Rubio said.

The company aims to expand its power generation capacity to 9.2 gigawatts by 2030, with half of it coming from various renewable energy sources. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera