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First Gen plans to join next green energy auction

FIRST GEN Corp. is keen to participate in the second round of the government’s green energy auction (GEA) program or GEA 2, which is scheduled in June.

“We are considering all,” Francis Giles B. Puno, First Gen president and chief operating officer, told reporters when asked if the company is participating in the upcoming auction.

GEA-2 will have on offer 11,600 megawatts (MW) in capacity, with 3,600 MW allocated for 2024; 3,600 MW for 2025; and 4,400 MW for 2026.

The GEA program aims to promote renewables as the primary source of energy through a competitive selection of renewable energy output.

First Gen targets to expand its clean energy portfolio up to 13 gigawatts (GW), from the current capacity of at least 3.4 GW, in line with the government’s 2030 target of increasing the renewable energy share.

“When you think about it, it is kind of aggressive but in reality, that is the pronouncement of the government. We are aligning ourselves with the policies and plans of the government. We have to be supportive of that,” he said.

For 2023, First Gen has allotted about $1.1 billion for capital expenditure, with over $400 million allocated for its renewable energy arm Energy Development Corp.

The company’s subsidiary, Fresh River Lakes Corp., was declared on May 16 as the highest bidder of the 165-MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija.

First Gen considers Casecnan as an important asset as it could help supplement its Pantabangan-Masiway hydropower plant and its Aya project.

At the local bourse on Wednesday, shares in the company closed 2.63% lower to end at P20.40 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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