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First Gen to make 690 MW available for Energy dep’t green energy program

FIRST GEN Corp. said Wednesday that it will make available around 690 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power for the green energy option program (GEOP).

“Primarily, our participation will be through our geothermal plants — Bacman Geothermal in Luzon (with) 140 megawatts (MW); Unified Leyte (plants) in Visayas… (of around 400 or 450 megawatts); in Mindanao, Mt. Apo Geothermal at 100 megawatts,” First Gen Vice-President for Power Marketing, Trading and Economics Carlos Lorenzo L. Vega said at a webinar hosted by the non-governmental organization Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology.

“(Our planned capacity for the GEOP is a) total of 690 MW,” he said.

Mr. Vega was referring to the total planned capacity of Energy Development Corp.’s Bacman Geothermal, Inc., and First Gen Energy Solutions, Inc., (FGES) which were granted permits to participate in the GEOP by the Department of Energy (DoE).

Bacman Geothermal, Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Development Corp., a unit of First Gen; while FGES is a wholly-owned unit of First Gen., according to the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association.

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The GEOP, which was launched in 2018, allows users consuming at least 100 kilowatts of power to source their supply from retail energy suppliers that generate electricity from renewables.

Mr. Vega described the program as a non-fiscal incentive that was pro-consumer because it gave end-users “the power to choose renewables” for their electricity demands. Aside from saving on generation charges, Mr. Vega said that the program will help consumers comply with the DoE’s guidelines in conserving energy.

“GEOP provides a compliance mechanism for energy conservation, I think you’ll be getting so much value out of GEOP because you’ll be able to realize savings, match and achieve your RE supply commitment, and comply with the DoE’s guidelines for energy conservation,” he said.

At the webinar, Renewable Energy Management Bureau Director Mylene C. Capongcol said that the department has issued GEOP operating permits to six firms which are currently “marketing their services,” including to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and other commercial establishments.

“So far, there are still three or four applications for RE suppliers that we’re processing. We’re just doing some due diligence as far as those companies are concerned,” Ms. Capongcol said.

Other suppliers which hold GEOP operating permits include: SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc.; SN Aboitiz Power-Res, Inc.; AC Energy Philippines, Inc.; and Solar Powered Agri-Rural Communities Corp. — Angelica Y. Yang

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