AboitizPower, foreign partners explore 3,000-MW offshore wind

ABOITIZ Power Corp. has partnered with two foreign entities, with the support of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), to explore the feasibility of developing up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind projects in the Philippines.

In a press release on Monday, Singapore-based Clime Capital Management Pte. Ltd. said the consortium with AboitizPower and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is launching a feasibility study that aims to complement existing research on wind power.

It quoted AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio as saying: “It is our goal to contribute to our country’s energy transition journey by exploring more zero-emissions indigenous energy sources. This offshore wind feasibility study is a step in the right direction as we further diversify our extensive renewable energy portfolio to achieve our goal.”

AboitizPower will be the project lead in the pre-feasibility assessment and wind data collection phase to unlock the offshore wind market, marshal resources to prepare the supply chain in case offshore wind proceeds with the development stage, and capture necessary data.

The project, which is partially funded by the USTDA, will start on Aug. 11 and is expected to conclude by mid-2023.

“Unlocking the offshore wind sector requires significant early-stage development funding. We are delighted to support this and believe offshore wind could prove a significant source of green energy for the Philippines,” Clime Capital Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mason Wallick said in the press release.

The Clime Capital team is described as consisting of senior professionals with deep Southeast Asian market experience in clean energy investments and developments.

Citing data from the Department of Energy (DoE), Clime Capital said the Philippines has onshore wind installed capacity of 443 MW as of 2020.

It said there is “significant potential” to expand the generation of wind power, especially offshore where wind farms generate more power. It also cited a 2021 study by the World Bank and BVG Associates, in coordination with the DoE, that identified opportunities for wind power development in the Philippines.

In the Philippine Energy Plan, the DoE targets wind power generation capacity to hit 12,000 MW by 2040. A low-growth scenario places the potential of 3,000 MW by 2040 and 6,000 MW by 2050.

“In partnership with USTDA, RMI aims to unlock private sector investment in offshore wind and utility-scale clean energy power projects in the Philippines and the broader Southeast Asia region,” said Justin Locke, RMI global south program managing director.

Clime Capital quoted US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken as saying: “The United States stands committed to working with the Philippines to achieve a clean energy future together. The signing of the USTDA grant on offshore wind is an important step in that direction.”

Separately, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. announced in a media release on Monday that Sabin M. Aboitiz, the group’s president and chief executive officer, accepted an invitation to become a steward of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism (CIC).

CIC is a global nonprofit organization that combines moral and market imperatives to help build a more inclusive, sustainable, and trusted economic system for the world.

Meredith Sumpter, chief executive officer of CIC, said he is thrilled to welcome Mr. Aboitiz to the council “and look forward to working with them as they take the necessary actions to ensure a better future for us all.”

Also on Monday, AboitizPower told the local bourse that Monalisa C. Dimalanta, its compliance officer, has resigned after her appointment as the chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

On the stock exchange, shares in AboitizPower rose by 1.29% or P0.40 to close at P31.40 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose