BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
March 29, 2019
Negros Occidental is expected to have an oversupply of green energy this year making it unnecessary to build a coal-fired power plant in the province, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
The governor, who is optimistic that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members will support his declaration of a coal free Negros, was referring to the three biomass plants in the province expected to produce 70 megawatts of power.
“I believe that any program that is good for the province will be supported by the next officials, or else the people will complain and they might not be reelected,” Marañon, whose term ends in June, said.
Marañon, who spoke at the turnover yesterday of the North Negros Biopower Inc. relocation site in Manapla, Negros Occidental, reiterated the importance of everyone doing their share to protect the environment.
He pointed out that he and Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo have both declared Negros a green island, amid the fight versus climate change that is wrecking havoc around the world.
Opposition has been raised against the plan of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. to install a 300-megawatt CFB (circulating fluidized bed) coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.
Meanwhile, the three biomass power plants in Negros Occidental are expected to be operational this year, BioPower president Arthur Aguilar said.
The plant in San Carlos City is expected to produce 20 megawatts of biomass power in May, while those in La Carlota City and Manapla will produce 25 megawatts each by November from sugarcane waste, he said.
Negros is the renewable capital of the whole country, Aguilar said, with its numerous solar and now biomass plants, and potential for hydro power .
Aguilar said the production of 70 MW of power from sugarcane waste at the three biomass plants will be a first in the world, and Negros will be the largest biomass power producer in the country and probably in the ASEAN.
Negros, that produces more than 300 MW of solar power,is already the largest solar power producing island in the whole Asia Pacific, he added.
He said solar produced in Negros can power the whole island in the daytime and biomass power can meet its needs at night, with an oversupply expected.
Negros’ power demand at its peak is 260MW, he said.
We know there will be an oversupply of electricity from our plants so we are prepared to curtail production when needed, he said.
Members of the Youth for Climate Hope yesterday called on members of the SP to declare Negros Occidental a model province for clean and renewable energy, as stated in its proposed ordinance.
“We are grateful to SP Board Manuel Ko for receiving the proposed ordinance with enthusiasm and giving his support for the R.E. transition. We hope he stays true to his promise of preserving Negros for the future generations by helping the RE ordinance move forward in the provincial board’s sessions,” Krishna Ariola, Youth for Climate Hope convenor, said.*