By Myrna M. Velasco
The Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BATELEC II), which is touted as the country’s biggest among league of rural power utilities, has signed a deal with Aboitiz Power Corporation for power supply sourcing from the latter’s “Cleanergy” brand.
The power supply agreement (PSA) inked by the parties entails the procurement of 3.0MW of electric capacity by BATELEC II from the Tiwi and Makiling-Banahaw (MakBan) geothermal plants of the Aboitiz group.
The duration of the contract and the per-kilowatt-hour price of the procured electricity had not been specified.
In addition, AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power that is in-charge of operating the Tiwi and MakBan plants, will also be supplying BATELEC II with a 20-MW emergency power supply for a period of one year or from December 26, 2019 to December 25, 2020.
The Batangas electric cooperative has rated peak demand of 132 megawatts, hence, it is manifest that it will just be sourcing a marginal portion of its supply portfolio from the geothermal facilities of AP.
Nevertheless, the electric cooperative’s new leaning on patronizing renewable energy (RE) resource had been considered “a bold move” and a “groundbreaking initiative of its management to diversify.”
At this time, electricity supply procurements are being placed in the spotlight – that it is no longer just enough for distribution utilities or electric cooperatives to ensure supply availability for their customers, but part of their mandate is to also make certain that their capacity sourcing promotes global sustainability agenda – hence, the growing patronage of many for RE sources and/or clean energy technologies.
As emphasized by BATELEC II General Manager Octavious Mendoza, for the power utility “to make a difference, we have decided to source renewable supply to serve our contestable customers.”
He further asserted “it’s a bold move, so we need a dependable partner to support us in this sustainability journey,” with him noting that they believe it is Aboitiz Power that can render that for them.
In the Batangas power utility’s more than 40 years of operations, Mendoza highlighted that “this is the first time we have decided to venture into the open access business and activate our local retail electricity supplier.”
Distribution utilities and electric cooperatives can automatically operate as local retail electricity suppliers (L-RES) based on the prescription of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act and its implementing rules and regulations, hence, they can participate in the retail power market in serving customers in their franchise area as long as it is within the threshold of end-users that can already exercise power of choice on contracting for their own power supply.
On the part of Aboitiz Power, company first vice president Juan Alejandro Aboitiz indicated that BATELEC II will shore up the growing number of their customers “who are pushing for a more sustainable energy resource.”
Aboitiz Power said it has more than 1,200MW of RE capacity form its hydro, geothermal and solar plants that it has been dangling to green energy-inclined customers.