The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) has signed a power supply agreement with Brooke’s Point Power Generation Incorporated to establish the second renewable energy power plant in the province.
The 7-megawatt multi-feedstock biomass power plant will be situated in Barangay Tubtub, Brooke’s Point. Estimated to cover approximately seven hectares once built, the power plant will utilize agricultural waste such as rice husks and coconut shells as fuel.
It is targeted for completion in 18 months to produce additional power for the Palawan grid.
Efren Abejo, the chairperson of the PALECO Board, stated that the new power supply agreement (PSA) will effectively uphold the cooperative’s power services.
PALECO previously entered its inaugural power supply arrangement with SI Power Corporation in January, a company that will provide solar-powered technology to the Palawan grid.
Brooke’s Point Power Generation Incorporated’ (BPPGI) legal counsel, Atty. Rio Balaba, mentioned that the biomass power plant will source its primary fuel from local farmers and agricultural waste facilities in Bataraza and Brooke’s Point.
“The biomass itself, ito yung mga residual agriwaste sa operation ng mga facilities na prevalent sa southern Palawan, which is mga rice husks, balat ng mais, as well as yung mga [galing sa] coconut industry, yung mga bao. Yung multifeed stock na ito is approved by the Department of Energy,” explained Balaba.
He pointed out that although the biomass will be burned to extract fuel, the process has been carefully examined to minimize adverse effects on the surrounding environment. This includes treating the gas and ash byproducts to ensure they remain within the acceptable limits set by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.
“There is also what we call carbonized rice husk or yung pinagsunugan. Estimating that we burn 20 metric tonnes [of biomass] for a day, 10-20% lang dun yung abo. So yung abo, based on the studies by PHIL-RICE it’s a good soil conditioner, fertilizer, and deodorizer for chicken coops,” added Balaba.
Balaba further stated that the BPPGI has been in strict compliance with the required environmental certifications needed to build the plant, having secured approval from the environmental management bureau, the DoE, as well as the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.
“I think this is the most stringent contract among the contracts that we entered,” said Balaba.
The plant’s initial electricity cost was estimated around P 7.39 per kilowatt/hour (kW/h), pending the final approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission by March 2024, according to the Subsidized Approved Generation Rate (SAGR) for Palawan.
The Director for the DOE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, Atty. Marissa Cerezo witnessed the deal signing, along with Ed Lacandazo, the Municipal Administrator for Brooke’s Point, BPPGI Secretary Jose Co, BPPGI Chairman Rodrigo Ko, PALECO Board Chairperson Efren Abejo, and PALECO General Manager Rez Contrivida.