BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday bared future plans to enter into joint venture agreements between local government units and renewable energy power suppliers, aimed at helping bring down the high cost of energy.
We learned that if it is a joint venture between LGUs and power suppliers, we can directly negotiate with electric cooperatives, without resorting to bidding processes, said Lacson, who attended the Provincial Power Sector- Study Group meeting in Bacolod City, also attended by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Provincial Consultant on Energy and Environment, Rafael Coscolluela and representatives of various electric cooperatives and business groups in the province.
Lacson however said they have to determine how much it will cost for the LGUs, should they enter into a joint venture.
Despite Negros Island being known for producing solar and geothermal energy, electric cooperatives rely much of their energy sources from coal, which is now expensive, Lacson said.
He also said that there is nothing wrong with the province having oversupply of renewable energy, stressing that it can always be used in other parts of the country.
While we have power sufficiency, Lacson said it comes from renewable energy, especially solar which is good for six to seven hours a day.
That is why batteries are really important, he stressed. That is where the joint venture comes in, Lacson said.*