• Electric co-ops unite for power solution

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    LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte: Due to the projected power shortage in the years to come, the electric cooperatives (ECs) in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions have agreed to pool at least 103 megawatts (MW) of power from their resources.

    Director Reynaldo Lazo, president of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC), said at least eight ECs will follow the lead of their central Luzon counterparts which have combined their power requirements.

    “The ECs agreement to pool their electricity requirements and combining their energy for the next two decades will help cushion the looming power shortage in the country and will encourage more energy production from power generators to evade experiencing power crisis in the future,” Lazo said.

    Lazo said a total of 103 MW is ready for pooling by the electric cooperatives from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga-Apayao, La Union, Mountain Province, Pangasinan, Benguet and Abra provinces.

    He said INEC with 51 MW is the largest commitment; Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) has 7 MW; Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) 14 MW; ISECO–7 MW; Kalinga–5 MW; La Union–8 MW; Mountain Province–8 MW; and Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (PANELCO) III–10 MW.

    “The 103 MW considered as the pooled uncontracted base load demand—which is referred to as forecasted minimum capacity of power for a distribution utility—of the eight ECs from 2019 to 2039, should provide for its customers-consumers,” he said.

    Lazo also explained that with a combined energy requirement, the ECs could purchase power supply at a lower price from the power generation sector and at the same time the power generators are also assured of a ready market for the energy they produce.

    Meanwhile, the 103 MW combined by the ECs are the portions of their demands that have not been covered by their existing power supply agreements.

    In Baguio City, at least six power-generating companies attended the pre-bid conference conducted by the Beneco technical working group late last year. These are GN Power, SO Energy, Global Power, Meralco, First Gen and AES.

    Lazo said these power companies have the time to submit their bids until February this year.

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