A national scientist is urging the Department of Energy to accelerate the upgrade of transmission lines in Negros Occidental, as the province is regarded to have a “power surplus economy”, with the potential to supply more power from renewable resources to other areas in the country.
In a press conference yesterday, Raul Fabella said that Negros has excess power supply due to many renewable energy (RE) plants operating across the island and DOE should fast track the upgrading of submarine cables to let the province supply other power deficit areas in the Philippines.
Fabella was in L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City to attend the Visayas Regional Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), April 11 to 12, which is in preparation for the 40th Annual Scientific Meeting on July 11 to 12.
Fabella said Neg. Occ. is already producing 250 to 300 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy resources and if supplied to power-deficit regions like Manila, this could be stabilized that will eventually lead to lower price of electric power.
“There are bigger markets outside the province and upgrading the submarine cables to supply power is essential. DOE should accelerate its upgrading,” he said, adding that underwater cables connecting Leyte, Cebu, and Negros have a limited capacity to supply to power to other regions.
He said there are co-generation plants and solar power plants operating in the province but the submarine lines are inadequate.
The biomass plants in the province are in Victorias City, Binalbagan, and San Carlos City, and another one is being built in La Carlota City.
Negros is also the home of one of the biggest solar farms in Southeast Asia located in Cadiz City. Solar power plants are also located in the vast areas of Manapla, Silay City, San Carlos, La Carlota, among others.
Fabella also said that with the rich RE resources in the province, co-generation power engineers in the province are getting an edge in terms of skills to operate these plants compared to those located in Manila. However the number of people engaged on it is still not enough.
“Already pirating of co-generation engineers is happening here and the educational system in the province should also hone more engineers for renewable energy," he said.
The big supply of renewable energy will also be a ticket of Neg. Occ. to have lower power costs in the future, especially that, currently, big investments are coming into the province, he added.
“Iloilo and Bacolod are twin cities in the Visayas, one of the emerging growth poles in the country. More than the sugar industry, Negros will be known to be one of the biggest sourced of power,” Fabella said.
Fabella is one of the 13 living national scientists in the country and he is a native of Bacolod City.*MLG
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