ILECO III bats for new power supply from solar farm

Iloilo Electric Cooperative (ILECO) III general manager Atty. James G. Balsomo II and TPC Construction Corp. president Charles Ji, alongside members of the Board of Directors of ILECO III have formalized their agreement for a solar power generation plant to be embedded in the distribution utility’s system on May 9, 2024. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor  

A solar power generation plant is poised to be integrated into the system of Iloilo Electric Cooperative (ILECO) III, bringing the promise of significantly lower electricity bills and a more stable power supply to its franchise areas.

ILECO III formalized its power supply agreement with TPC Construction Corp., a Korean firm based in Bacolod City, in a contract signing ceremony held in Iloilo City on Thursday, May 9.

The contract operates under a build-operate-transfer scheme, wherein TPC Construction Corp. will finance, construct, and operate the project for 15 years. Subsequently, after this period, the project will be handed over to ILECO III without any additional charges.

Charles Ji, president of TPC Construction Corp., noted that several distribution utilities in the region, including Northern Negros Electric Cooperative and Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc., had submitted similar proposals. However, it was only ILECO III that pursued theirs.

“ILECO III and the members of the Board of Directors really pushed for this initiative to lower the electricity bills of their consumers. They are genuinely concerned about the consumers,” Ji told Daily Guardian.

“We have executed the first-ever, the pioneering embedded solar power generation plant in the entire Visayas. There are other embedded generation from other electric cooperatives, but they involve different technology particularly hydropower,” said Atty. James G. Balsomo II, ILECO III general manager.

Balsomo highlighted that this project marks the first solar generation plant exclusively embedded within the franchise area of a power distribution utility.

Citing the energy crisis faced by the country and the surge in power costs in the market, Balsomo expressed that the augmentation from the solar plant would lead to reduced electricity bills for consumers.

“Our contract with TPC would provide us with a fixed rate for the next 15 years at P5 per kilowatt-hour. Additionally, since renewable energy is zero-rated for value-added tax, our contract is tax-free,” he explained.

“This initiative will undoubtedly lower the cost of power in our franchise area and bring about price stability,” he added.

Balsomo outlined that they would commence with 3 megawatts initially due to the absence of renewable energy engineers in the country.

The 3 megawatts generated daily will be integrated into the Daan Banwa Substation in Estancia. The solar power plant has a maximum capacity of 10 megawatts.

“This marks a transformation for ILECO III towards sustainable green energy. Our additional power requirement will now be sourced from renewable energy,” he remarked.

The project will commence this May, with the notice to proceed already granted to the Korean firm. The firm is expected to deliver power by February 2025.

Balsomo mentioned that they are yet to secure the provisional authority for the project from the Energy Regulatory Commission.


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