EDC ready to help Negros become 100% powered by RE

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Negros may turn into a greener island with the geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) readiness to support it through its 100 percent clean, reliable renewable energy (RE) geothermal portfolio.

This is declared by Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in Negros Island.

“Our vision is for Negros to be the first island in the Philippines to be 100 percent powered by RE,” Bautista said.

EDC’s 222.5-megawatt (MW) Southern Negros Geothermal Project (SNGP) located in Valencia, Negros Oriental has been operating for almost 40 years.

This is EDC’s 2nd largest geothermal facility, contributing 19 percent of the company’s 1,181-megawatt (MW) geothermal portfolio.

It is also responsible for putting EDC and the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd largest geothermal producer, something that every Negrosanon should be proud of since it has also helped Negros become a green island, Bautista said.

The geothermal facility currently supplies clean, renewable power to four out of five electric cooperatives (EC) in Negros Island: 2 MW to Negros Oriental I Electric Cooperative, 25 MW to Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative, 20 MW to Central Negros Electric Cooperative, and 3 MW to Northern Negros Electric Cooperative.

All these comprise about 16% of the island’s power supply out of its peak demand of 312MW.

“These EDC geothermal power plants ensure that Negros consumers get stable and reliable power in the island while the power supply agreements that the four ECs have with us ensure competitively priced power rates that protect them from volatile price increases brought about by coal price movements indexed on FOREX and coal fuel prices,” confirmed Bautista.

Still, EDC’s existing total geothermal portfolio mostly from its Leyte power plants allow the company to provide clean, reliable power at competitive rates even to Negros Island.

EDC’s 711.4MW Leyte geothermal facility has the biggest wet steam genberated power in the world and is the company’s biggest site.

The power from these geothermal plants will be more than enough to supply all the power requirements of all the Negros Electric Cooperatives and their electricity consumers.

“More power from geothermal energy would mean a low carbon for Negros island, which is consistent with both Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental’s goal for their respective provinces and is crucial to fighting the climate crisis that the whole world is in right now,” added Bautista.

Geothermal is considered as the Holy Grail among sources of RE because it is the only one that can provide continuous power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hence, EDC refers to it as geo 24/7.

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‘10M in 10’ partners to plant trees in Valencia

By Jennifer C. Tilos

This year’s group of partner-agencies of  ‘10 million trees in 10 years (10M in 10) movement is set to plant 110 assorted endemic species of tree seedlings on September 14 at Silliman University’s Center for Tropical Conservation Studies (Centrop)  in Barangay Palinpinon, Valencia.

This is in support to the fourth year of the ‘10 million trees planted in 10 years’ for a Greener Negros movement.

Vice President for Development Dr. Jane Belarmino of Silliman University offers the group the planting area at Centrop to support also the center its conservation of the wildlife and forest of Negros Oriental.

The Centrop manages the garden and its volunteers focus research and studies on wildlife conservation, and do awareness campaign among surrounding communities.

In a fourth partner-cluster workshop, the group headed by Sidney Lee of Negros Oriental ROTC Association of Corps Commanders (NORACC) has prepared a tree growing plan under three major programs on knowledge management and capacity building, planting and execution, and monitoring and evaluation.

In the plan dubbed “Kooperasyon!” the group identified its activities, agency’s task and responsibilities to ensure that the seedlings planted will grow and be protected to achieve the goal of restoring forests in the province.

NORACC, Silliman University, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), UCCP Bais City,  and local government units of Sibulan, San Jose, Ayungon, and Zamboanguita compose the group.

During the planting activity, LGU Ayungon will provide 100 endemic seedlings and the 10 additional seedlings of narra and molave from a game prize which a member won, SU  takes care of the transportation of the group, PIA promotes the tree growing activity, others do the monitoring and evaluation aside from the actual planting.

10M in 10 is Negros Island’s biggest forest restoration movement that aims to plant, grow, and protect at least 10 million trees in the next 10 years with the help and commitment of individuals, government agencies, people’s organizations, and private companies.

On its third year, the 10M in 10 for a greener Negros movement has planted 6,270,354 seedlings in different parts of Negros Island.

Dumaguete sets P8M for Candau-ay dumpsite closure

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Dumaguete City government has appropriated P8 million for the closure and rehabilitation plan of the dumpsite in Barangay Candau-ay.

The amount also includes funds for site grading, stabilization and final cover of the 35-year-old dumpsite.

With the funding being readied, the project will start within this year, according to City Public Information Officer Dems Demecillo.

The appropriation is chargeable against the Environmental Management Bureau Solid Waste Management Financial Support Program of the DENR, he added.

The project involves varied tasks: cut and fill/stripping of old garbage outside the perimeter fence near Consuelo Village, transfer of all removed garbage from outside of the perimeter fence to dumpsite area, backfilling of steep slope using excavated materials, cut and fill/stripping of top waste layer of garbage and compacting to 10.00 meters height.

Thereafter, ballastro clay and soil will be spread and compacted before the laying of Bermuda grass sods or its equivalent on slopes and carabao grass on top surface of the dumpsite and planting of “mani” shrubs.

Demecillko said “Once completed the garbage dump will ahve a landscape that will resemble a park which will be opened to the public as an open space and could be another site for the new barangay hall and other facilities.”

At present, while waiting for the completion of the central Materials Recovery Facility and sanitary landfill inside the 8-hectare Eco-Park and Waste Disposal Facilities, the trash at the dumpsite is being treated with bio-enzyme to neutralize the odor and hasten decomposition.

Earlier, acting on the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chaired by Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, the City Council declared a state of calamity in 6 barangays namely Candau-ay, Balugo, Cadawinonan, Junob, Batinguel and Camanjac.

The CDRRMC resolution stated that the open dumpsite in Candau-ay has been continuously producing contaminated air that may cause a lot of diseases, significant health and environmental threats both to the people involved in the operations and the wider general public.

Mayor Remollo, Vice-Mayor Alan Gel Cordova and the members of the City Council recognized the urgent need to control the foul and nauseating odor emanating from the dumpsite.