San Carlos, Pulupandan eyed for offshore wind energy project

Mayor Renato Gustilo (right) met with a consultant team last week after San Carlos City in Negros Occidental was identified as one of the 10 areas in the country being considered for the DOE’s Offshore Wind (OSW) Energy Project. (Photo courtesy of San Carlos City Public Information Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY — Two localities in Negros Occidental have been identified as potential sites for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Offshore Wind (OSW) Energy Project: San Carlos City and Pulupandan town.

San Carlos Mayor Renato Gustilo welcomed potential investors, particularly in renewable energy projects, highlighting the city’s openness to opportunities that can foster holistic development.

According to the local government, the DOE-commissioned consultant firm, NIRAS, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), met with Gustilo on June 28 to discuss the OSW energy project’s objectives.

Gustilo told Aksyon Radyo Bacolod that the group conducted a feasibility study for the project but did not provide further details.

The consultant team, led by Efren Poca, included port engineer Riches Bacero, OSW port engineer Kjeld Sorensen, environmental specialist Eleanor Pintor, and social specialist Evelyn Buenaventura.

They conducted a desktop study for a pre-feasibility assessment, narrowing the top 10 port infrastructures down to seven for further consideration in phase two, the feasibility study.

San Carlos City is among 10 areas in the country being considered for the OSW energy project, Gustilo noted.

“This is a welcome development as the city is pushing for renewable energy. If successful, this project will help reduce power rates,” Gustilo said.

The city government explained that OSW harnesses sea winds to generate electricity for onshore distribution, representing a sustainable and innovative approach to energy generation.

Engr. Loreto Sanchez, the city’s environment and natural resources officer, said San Carlos City is a strong contender for the project due to its existing renewable energy ventures, including biomass power plants, bioethanol facilities, and solar farms.

Sanchez emphasized that the OSW energy project presents minimal environmental risks, as it does not involve chemical discharge and is strategically located away from the Marine Protected Area. He also highlighted the project’s potential to create local employment opportunities.

The consultant team also coordinated with various city agencies, including the City Assessor’s Office, Public Employment Service Office, City Environment Management Office, City Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office, and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for data collection.

The data collection covered aspects such as potential involuntary resettlement, demographic and ecological profiles, Marine Protected Area (MPA) details, PPA technical information, navigational lanes, and comprehensive land-use planning.


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