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Philippines: Visaya utility signs 5-year PPA with Green Core Geothermal

Tongonan, Leyte Geothermal power plant, Philippines
Alexander Richter 15 Dec 2010

Philippine utility signs 5-year power purchase agreement with Green Core Geothermal in Visaya for 5 US cents/ kWh for non-peak hours and 14.8 US cents/ kWh for peak hours.

In news from the Philippines it is said that “the Association of the Visayan Electric Cooperatives (Avec) has agreed to enter into a five-year contract with the Green Core Geothermal Inc. (GCGI) for the supply of geothermal power despite a pending petition before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The Avec earlier filed a petition before the ERC asking the agency to check if the selling price of the power offered to them was fair.

Under the agreement between Green Core and Avec reached on December 7, the Green Core will apply the rate based on the National Power Corp.-Psalm time of use rate at P2.2181 per kilowatt hour (5.05 US cents/ kWh) during non-peak hours and P6.4755 (14.8 US cents/ kWh) on peak hours, according to Leyte Electric Cooperative (Leyeco) V officer-in-charge Juanito Jorda.

Jorda said the electric cooperatives would sign a contract with the Green Core renewable every five years until the issuance by the ERC of its final decision.

But Green Core could only supply six megawatts to Leyeco V, which has a power requirement of 26 megawatts. Leyeco V also gets 13 megawatts from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilitites Management Corp. (PSALM).

Leyeco V, which is based in Ormoc City, currently buys power from the PSALM at P3.790 per kilowatt hour, according to Max Torcende, manager of the cooperative’s Institutional Services Division.

Ramon Diaz de Rivera, GCGI manager for power sales, said in a text message that they only had 29 megawatts yet to contract, which would be allocated with priority to the host electric cooperatives and existing GCGI customers.

Avec president Emmanuel Saño, in an earlier interview, earlier said 27 of the 31 electric cooperatives in the Visayas have opposed the P4.70 per kilowatt-hour price set by the GCGI for a 10-year contract that would take effect on Dec. 26, 2010.

Saño explained that based on their computation, the rate of the power from a steam source should be P2.940 per kilowatt-hour.

But during the preliminary hearing held in Manila last December 1, lawyer Catherine Lee, the counsel for Green Core, questioned Avec’s authority to represent its members, saying some of them have already signed a contract with the GCGI.

According to Lee, only nine Avec members signed the petition before the ERC, questioning the Green Core power rate.

She also said the petitioner had not signed a contract with Green Core at the time it questioned the latter’s power rate and therefore had no legal personality to file the petition with the ERC.

However, Saño clarified that they submitted their petition with the ERC to determine if the offered rate was reasonable.

“But if the commission decides that the price is just, right and fair, then it is what we will be explaining to our consumers, since the ERC is the best conciliator in the country,” Saño said.

Four electric cooperatives taking their power from coal-fired power plants such as Iloilo Electric Coop (Ileco) I and II, Aklan Electric Coop (Akelco), which covers the whole of Panay, and Capiz Electric Coop (Capelco), have signed contract with the Green Core, bared Leyte Electric cooperative Leyeco V president Joselito Yap.

The GCGI, owned by the Energy Development Corp. of the Lopez group, has three power plants — the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant in Leyte and the Palinpinon Geothermal Power Plants I and II in Negros, with a total of 305 MW capacity.”

Source: Inquirer