Solar, wind to help fuel Central Visayas power

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014


ALONGSIDE the rapid economic growth in Central Visayas will be an increased demand for power, said Department of Energy Visayas Director Antonio Labios.

Solar and wind energy have the potential to become additional sources of power, Labios told reporters in a recent forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency 7.

He said the department already has studies and service contractors but have not established commitments for such projects.

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Investments

Early this month, Carcar City Mayor Nicepuro Apura said during his State of the City Address (Soca) that the City signed a memorandum of understanding with investors from South Korea for a 15-megawatt solar power plant. The plant will be built near the New City Center in Barangay Poblacion III.

In its website, the DOE said there are already a number of committed power projects for 2014 until 2017 in response to the increasing demand for power.

In the Visayas alone, Labios said committed projects from 2014 to 2017 would generate 579.6 megawatts.

According to the DOE website, 352 MW will be coming from coal plants, 104 MW under wind power projects, 57.6 MW from biomass, 50 MW for geothermal, 16 MW for hydropower and 8MW for solar.

For 2014, three plants are expected to come online with a total capacity of 129 MW.

Energy sources

These new projects in the Visayas from this year to 2017 are by Toledo Power, Palm Thermal, Energy Development Corp., Sunwest Water & Electric Co. Inc., Quadriver Energy Corp., San Carlos Solar, Petrogen Energy Corp., Trans-Asia, Universal Robina Corp., San Carlos Biopower, Universal Robina Corp., Hawaiian Philippines Corp., Asian Energy System Corp. and Victorias Milling Co. Inc.

Labios said that most renewable sources of energy are in Negros and Panay, which belong to Western Visayas. However, he said Central Visayas is “promising” when it comes to wind and solar energy.

Status

The director said Visayas is now under “yellow alert,” which means there are energy reserves but these are “not sufficient” to meet the demand.

The DOE, headed by Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, together with energy stakeholders earlier drafted a “stronger” energy plan for Visayas.

“The proposed energy plan aims to act as the blue print for indigenous energy development and utilization. It also empowers LGUs and various sectors to plan ahead for their energy needs,” DOE said.

Programs

Under the electrification program, DOE reported that 51 percent of the 8,095 sitios in the Visayas have been provided with electricity, in accordance with the Sitio Electrification Program.

Meanwhile, 75.4 percent of the potential four million households were already electrified in fulfillment of the Household Electrification Program.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 16, 2014.

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