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EDC exploring technology options to increase output of geothermal plants

Southern Negros geothermal plant, Negros Oriental, Philippines (source: Mike Gonzalez, creative commons BY-SA 3.0)
Alexander Richter 24 Jul 2018

One of the largest geothermal producers in the world, EDC in the Philippines is conducting feasibility studies on new technologies aimed at improving and increasing output from its geothermal power plants.

During a recently held meeting by the Philippines’ National Geothermal Association, Energy Development Corp., the biggest producer of geothermal steam, reported being conducting feasibility studies on new technologies to improve and increase the output from its power plants.“We are first looking at our existing areas, we are doing sort of recycling of heat.

So instead of heating 160 degrees centigrade, we harness the heat further and inject the fluids at 120 degrees,”  EDC assistant vice president Noel Salonga said over the weekend. Salonga said the feasibilities could be completed within the year.“We will conclude (the study) within the year, then next year, look for proper technologies to make that happen,” Salonga said.

He said EDC could harness “roughly 100 MW more if we could put up all these technologies.”Salonga said the most available geothermal projects today were of lower generation capacity of 20 megawatts to 40 MW and required deeper drilling compared with previous discoveries, which had bigger output of 200 MW and were more economical to develop. EDC, an affiliate of First Gen Corp. and part of the Lopez Group, is the largest producer of geothermal energy and one of the leading renewable energy companies in the country. EDC operates five geothermal service contracts areas.

The company, through its subsidiaries, has also secured three geothermal operating contracts covering power plant operations. EDC is a member of the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines and has joined calls for the exemption of the Renewable Energy Law from the Proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Package 2, citing its adverse effect on the competitiveness of the industry.“We are appealing that the incentives we had previously in the RE Law will be retained,” Salonga, who is also NGAP president, said.

He said with untapped geothermal resources becoming smaller in size and difficult to develop, the industry should  maintain its incentives under the RE Law.“So we need more incentives than ever so we can move forward geothermal development,” Salonga said.The Philippines ranked third globally last year in terms of installed geothermal capacirty  with Indonesia now at second place and the US at the top slot. Indonesia has overtaken the Philippines as the second geothermal leader worldwide starting last year, dislodging the country’s from the position it help for over 30 years. We reported yesterday.

Source: Manila Standard