Negros: 100% Renewable Energy Supply
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:13 October 2016
The Negros Island Region (NIR) is now on the move in switching for 100% renewables. The idea was discussed during the forum on Negros Clean Energy held at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall here Thursday. Climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace, Reuben Muni said “the NIR still has more opportunities in continuing the solar revolution by maximizing the use of solar rooftops.” Currently, Negros Occidental has solar generation capacity of 341.5 megawatts (MW) from five companies operating seven plants, the highest in the Philippines. San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. has a 59-MW solar facility in San Carlos City; Helios Solar Energy, 132.5-MW farm in Cadiz City, the largest in Southeast Asia; Citicor Power, 25-MW project in Silay City; Negros Island Solar Power, 48-MW and 32-MW farms in Manapla and La Carlota, respectively; and San Carlos Solar Energy, 45-MW facility also in San Carlos City. “We believe that Negros can eventually become an entirely renewable energy region. If not totally solar, at least a combination of various green energy sources like wind and hydro,” Muni said. Muni also commented on the Department of Energy statement that the influx of solar power farms in Negros has caused line congestion contributory to frequent interruptions. He pointed out that the problem in congestion is relative not only to the generation component. “We have to understand that the problem with brownouts in the province is not an issue of generation, but rather an issue of transmission because according to solar experts we lag behind in transmission rehabilitation,” he added. The Negros Clean Energy forum was attended by various sector-representatives in the province and renewable energy advocate groups in the country. It was initiated by Greenpeace along with the Climate Reality Project Philippines and the City of Bacolod in collaboration with various groups. Themed “Maximizing Solar Energy Potential of the Island,” the activity was part of promoting the Solar Rooftop Challenge campaign.