BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez on Monday said he is proposing an energy summit for Negros Island next month to tackle sufficient power supply for the city and the province of Negros Occidental, following the regionwide power outage that hit Western Visayas last week.
“I met Governor (Eugenio Jose) Lacson last Sunday. We talked a little about a power summit. I think it’s scheduled soon. It’s in the works. It’s very crucial that our power stakeholders -- from generators to distribution, will be present,” he said in a press conference.
Benitez said the city and the province want to be self-sufficient in terms of power supply since the island generates some 700 megawatts (MW), but has a peak load consumption of only about 440 MW.
“We really have a surplus in power supply in Negros Island. If we can harness first locally-produced power for our own consumption, we will not have to rely on supply elsewhere. One of the reasons why we have this disturbance or outages is because sometimes the power supply still comes from other areas, and we rely heavily on the transmission lines,” he said.
Benitez said they will invite all local power generators, including those producing geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar and wind energy.
“We will call them to the power summit to come up with an arrangement to prioritize the consumers in Negros Island before we export our power,” he added.
The power outage in Western Visayas that began the afternoon of Jan. 2 and lasted until Jan. 5 affected portions of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. (PNA)