SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. has dropped a plan to develop “clean” coal power plants with a combined capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW) as it shifts its focus towards adding more renewable energy (RE) in its portfolio, its parent firm said over the weekend.
The move comes a week after think tank Center for Energy, Ecology and Development sent to reporters a letter signed by an official of the Department of Energy that tagged as “discontinued” some of the projects of the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) unit.
“We’re executing on our plans to move away from building new coal facilities, despite new technologies that make them cleaner. It’s a company direction that is in line with all the major sustainability initiatives we have undertaken these past couple of years,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in an e-mailed statement on Saturday.
These projects are SMC Global Power’s proposed circulating fluidized bed coal-fired plants in Pagbilao and Sariaya, Quezon with capacity of 600 MW each, and the 300-MW Looc Malabuyoc coal-fired power plant in Cebu.
The Energy department letter was signed by Mario C. Marasigan, director at the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau.
In the statement, Mr. Ang said that SMC maintains a diverse power portfolio of RE and “traditional but proven” energy sources to ensure that it can shift to cleaner sources while meeting the demand for affordable and dependable power.
The parent firm said that SMC Global Power is spending more than $1 billion to build 31 new battery energy storage systems (BESS) with a rated capacity of 1,000 MW. They are scheduled to be completed by this year and next.
“The project will allow for the integration of over 3,000 MW of intermittent renewable power sources to the grid,” SMC said.
Mr. Ang added that SMC Global Power is also looking to build new solar plants “in combination with BESS facilities” in 10 areas across the country. They are targeted for commercial operations by 2023.
According to its website, SMC Global Power’s portfolio consists of a mix of coal, natural gas and hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of over 2,900 MW, accounting for 22% of supply in the Luzon grid. — Angelica Y. Yang