By Dolly Yasa
Bacolod City-Bacolod City mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said the proposed power summit is geared at prodding producers to supply the local consumers first before exporting it to other areas.
Benitez said this idea came up after a widespread power outage hit Panay island recently.
“Ideally it will be next month,” Benitez said when asked for a timeline for the power summit.
He also said that he met Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and they discussed the summit.
“It’s very crucial,” he further said.
Benitez pointed out that Negros Island produces 700 megawatts (MW) of power but its consumption peaks at 400MW.
If the island can harness its local power, it will be self-sufficient.
“So if we can harness ang mga locally produced power for our consumption, indi na kita mag rely sa kon diin pa because one of the reasons why we have these disturbances and power outages is kon kis-a ang power supply ta mahalin pa sa iban nga lugar,” he further said.
He also lamented that “we rely heavily on the transmission lines,” adding that “if we can tap first our locally sourced power kag kita anay ang ma-usar before we export it to other areas then we can be assured of sufficient power supply.”
Benitez said that the power summit will be attended by all industry stakeholders, from generators to distributors.
It will include local power generators using geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar, and other sources in Negros island.
He pointed out that “the summit is directed to come up with an arrangement nga unahon anay ang local consumers sang Negros island before we export power to other areas.”
Benitez added that “there is what we call an embedded system, ang mga power plants gusto nila connected sila sa National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), kay sa aton barato, gusto nila sa NGCP ihaboy ang power like sa Cebu kay mahal.”
“So a power summit has to be organized because we want a win-win arrangement nga indi man sila ma shortchange kag kita naman indi mawad-an power supply kay gin baligya nila sa iban,” Benitez said.
On his part, Lacson said the provincial government has tapped the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City to formulate an Energy Roadmap aimed at ensuring power stability in the province.
The governor said the purpose of the Energy Roadmap is “to secure enough power for now and the future”.
“This is to make sure that what happened in Panay will not take place in Negros Occidental,” he stressed.
Lacso also said that an investor has expressed interest to put up an offshore wind energy plant between Negros island and Panay island.