"As far as renewable energy is concerned, we have already welcomed them as we already have geothermal, which unfortunately failed to get their targeted power. We also have one of the biggest power plants. In short, we are doing our share with renewable. We also offered our rivers for the hydropower plant but it did not materialize. We also have a biomass plant in San Carlos City. I think we have to do some combinations," Lacson explained.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. has asked the approval of the Provincial Board (PB) to declare the province coal-free, which, according to Lacson, is now with the Provincial Board committee on energy.
"I don't want to rush it. I keep an open mind on coal ", Lacson said.
He said that San Miguel Corporation has expressed its intention and has a serious proposal to put up a coal-fired power plant in Barangay Palampas and Barangay Punaw in San Carlos City.
In fact, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of San Carlos City has already approved a resolution endorsing the project.
Lacson said the said resolution has not yet reached the PB.
He also said he had heard the governor is backing and welcoming investors on coal-fired power plant especially with the one earlier reported in Cadiz City.
Renewable energy especially the solar power plant is not reliable and in fact, consumers of Northern Negros Electric Cooperative have been complaining of the erratic power supply as solar power is only good when there is sunlight.
"So there's a need for a base load," Lacson said.
He also said that the business sector represented by the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry made a presentation in the recent meeting of the Provincial Development Council that the power situation in the province would be affected if there is a maintenance of the power suppliers that are not within the province.
Earlier, the Diocese of San Carlos issued a statement that it is opposing the plan of SMC to put up a 300-megawatt coal plant in San Carlos City.
The diocese, in a position paper signed by Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, said the “Catholic Church supports the protection of our common good and our common home. We believe that progress can be achieved through sustainable and climate-friendly means.”