July 25, 2022
Renewable energy leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) reiterated its commitment to continue supporting Region 8 by helping build its climate resilience and triumph over the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as finding ways to bring down its power rates.
It should be noted that only Leyte II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LEYECO II) and Leyte III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LEYECO III) awarded Power Supply Agreements (PSA) to EDC. Hence, they are the only ones receiving power from EDC through Green Core Geothermal, Inc., which straddles Ormoc City and Kananga. The PSA comes from EDC’s amended offer to electric cooperatives (EC) in the region in 2014.
The Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives of Region 8 (FRECOR-8*), which includes LEYECO II, LEYECO III, and nine other ECs, conducted a Competitive Selection Process (CSP) in 2015 to bid out their 150-megawatt (MW) aggregated long term power requirements until 2038. EDC was not eligible to participate because the terms of the FRECOR-8 bid required a new power plant or a power plant expansion.
EDC would have been able to participate in the FRECOR-8 CSP if not for the requirement of a new power plant.
“As much as we would have wanted to participate in the CSP and supply power to the rest of Leyte and Samar, FRECOR-8 required a new power plant to serve its member-ECs’ supply needs,” said Erwin B. Magallanes, Head of Corporate Relations at EDC’s Leyte geothermal facility.
Unlike imported and carbon-intensive coal, geothermal is the ideal source of power not only because it is able to supply a clean, renewable source of 24/7 or baseload power but also because of its relatively stable price.
“Geothermal power prices are not volatile because they are not tied to oil and coal prices,” added Magallanes.
Coal and oil prices in recent months have been increasing due to world market prices. This, along with costly supply chain logistics, has been causing the increasing electricity rates that we are experiencing in our country since 58% of the power in the country is supplied by coal and 2% from oil as of 2021, according to the Department of Energy’s website.
Meanwhile, EDC’s customers like LEYECO II and LEYECO III have been enjoying clean, reliable power at lower, stable, and predictable rates.
EDC is prepared to help lower power rates by participating in FRECOR-8’s Emergency Power Sales Agreement bid process for the good of the customers of FRECOR8.
“While the members of FRECOR-8 have signed long-term contracts, we can supply from our limited uncontracted capacity. We are prepared to offer energy from geothermal to help lower the average electricity cost of their consumers,” added Magallanes.
Magallanes likewise relays this message to FRECOR-8 on behalf of EDC: “Let’s continue to work together to find ways to bring down the electricity rates in our region.”
EDC is First Gen’s 100% RE subsidiary and has over 1,480-MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20% of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Unified Leyte and Green Core Geothermal, Inc. are EDC’s power supply subsidiaries.
*Aside from LEYECO II and LEYECO III, the other FRECOR-8 ECs are Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative, Inc.(DORELCO), Leyte IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LEYECO IV), Leyte V Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LEYECO V), Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SOLECO), Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BILECO), Samar I Electric Cooperative, Inc.(SAMELCO I), Samar II Electric Cooperative, Inc.(SAMELCO II), Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc.(ESAMELCO), and Northern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc.(NORSAMELCO). LEYECO V covers the franchise area in Leyte where EDC’s biggest geothermal site has been operating for almost 40 years.