Visayas assured of stable power

Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 31, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Visayas region will have enough power supply in the next five years with upcoming proposed projects.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said yesterday indicative projects in the pipeline will add at least 3,797 megawatts (MW) into the grid.

In an interview at the sidelines of the Visayas Energy Investment Forum in Cebu City Thursday, the official noted about 80% of these proposed projects are renewable energy (RE) projects located mostly in Leyte and Negros islands.

These RE projects include biomass and solar projects in Negros and Cebu; geothermal power in Leyte; and wind power in Aklan and Iloilo.

The proposed RE plants were projected to add at least 3,071 MW to the Visayas grid.

Fuentebella also noted proposed coal and oil powered plants will add 600 MW and 125.5 MW, respectively.

Most of these are located in Cebu, he said.

The Visayas grid, he said, needs at least 2,100 MW during peak hours. Currently, the grid has a supply of about 2,300 MW with a reserve of only 200 MW.

He noted the Visayas grid was experiencing yellow alert during peak hours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

He added the upcoming power projects will ensure grid’s ample supply in the future.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s forum, power industry stakeholders gathered to discuss energy investment opportunities in Visayas, which include the financing facility available for energy projects, government’s role in the facilitation of energy projects, and private sector experience in the development and implementation of an energy conservation project and as a qualified third party. 

“Given the fast-paced economic development in the region, we at the energy sector must keep up with demand. With the recent passage of the EVOSS (Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop) Act, which aims to cut back on lengthy government processes and generate more energy investments in the country, we are very optimistic that investors will appreciate the great potential our sector has to offer,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

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