EDC plans to increase capacity
without touching Mt Talinis
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the country’s biggest geothermal energy producer, is planning to expand its current capacity by 60 megawatts in its Southern Negros Geothermal power plant (SNGP) in Valencia, Negros Oriental within its existing land size. Its current capacity of 222.5 MW will be increased to 282.5 MW due to the growing demand of electricity in the region. This was stated by EDC’s Negros Integrated Geothermal Business Unit head Jay Joel Soriano, emphasizing that the increase will be in capacity, not in land size.
Various stakeholders were recently gathered for a site visit to the Southern Negros Geothermal power plant to dismiss allegations of the expansion, which, some reports say, will intrude into Mount Talinis, a key biodiversity area in Negros Oriental.
SNGP’s existing geothermal production or development block sits on 5,163 hectares in the Palinpinon-Okoy watershed in Valencia which is physically apart from Mount Talinis. Its steam field and power plant occupy less than 200 hectares and expansion will just be within the existing development block.
ECC to increase capacity not issued yet
Public consultations and hearings were held for the proposed expansion. Host communities and the local government of Valencia also endorsed EDC’s application for the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is yet to release the ECC for the 60-MW geothermal expansion. Soriano added that EDC has not started any activity in relation to its expansion while the ECC has not been released.