PetroEnergy’s geothermal project cleared for WESM

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By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor

PETROENERGY Resources Corp. on Friday said its geothermal power unit had secured approval to participate in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), paving the way for its commercial operation.

Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), which operates the spot market, gave its nod on Dec. 7, 2017 for Maibarara Geothermal Inc. (MGI), which sought the registration of its 12-megawatt (MW) expansion of its geothermal facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

PEMC earlier included Maibarara-2 in its market network model, allowing the facility’s dispatch to be accurately monitored in the spot market.

“The completion of these two critical WESM and grid connection requirements is a significant milestone for MGI as these are technical prerequisites for eventual commercial operations.” MGI President F. G. Delfin, Jr. told the stock exchange.

MGI is a joint venture of PetroGreen Energy Corp. with a 65% stake, Phinma Energy Corp. with 25%, and PNOC Renewables Corp. with 10%. PGEC is the renewable energy holding company of publicly listed PetroEnergy.

Dave P. Gadiano, PetroGreen head of energy trading, said the WESM registration of Maibarara-2 clears the way for the facility to export power to the grid during the commissioning stage.

“The testing and commissioning of Maibarara-2 is estimated to start by middle of December. Export of power to the grid is expected soon after commissioning starts,” he said in a statement.

PetroGreen’s power output comes from three renewable energy plants — the 20-MW Maibarara-1 geothermal plant in Sto Tomas, the 36-MW Nabas-1 wind project in Aklan, and the 50-MWDC Tarlac-1 solar facility in Tarlac City.

MGI’s expected commissioning of the Maibarara-2 unit will bring the field’s total gross capacity to 32 MW. Maibarara-1 started commercial operation on Feb. 8, 2014.

The recent PEMC approvals came after MGI successfully installed and tested, with power grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) the remote terminal unit and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system of Maibarara-2 on Nov. 15.

On Nov. 18, MGI completed with Japan’s Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., the target plate testing of Maibarara-2’s steam, a pre-commissioning activity in which the quality of the steam that will pass through the turbine blades is assessed.

Pedro G. Callos, MGI steamfield manager, said test had shown that the supply steam for Maibarara-2 complies with Fuji Electric’s standards.

On Friday, shares in PetroEnergy gained 0.67% to P6.04 each.