First Gen to power PLDT, Smart facilities with clean energy
MANILA -PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications have tapped the Lopezes’ renewable energy firm, First Gen Corp., to power seven facilities with geothermal energy, allowing the telecommunication giants to save about P27 million in electricity costs annually.
First Gen said it had secured the partnership via Energy Development Corp., its 100-percent renewable energy arm, to supply 3.7 megawatts of geothermal energy to the telcos’ facilities in Cebu, Samar, Capiz and Iloilo.
Supply will come from First Gen’s geothermal stations in Southern Negros. First Gen is expected to power the facilities by June 26.
According to PLDT and Smart chief sustainability officer Melissa Vergel de Dios, the supply deal would help the companies reduce emissions this year by 16,000 tons, amounting to 26 percent of their total reduction target for 2023.
PLDT and Smart are also eyeing to use geothermal energy in more sites across the country, including their data centers, with help from First Gen.
Last year, the telcos unveiled plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 as they transition their network facilities, data centers and operational sites to using clean energy.
“As we turn to renewables and clean energy, we are also supporting the Philippine government’s plan for green energy transition,” PLDT and Smart president and chief executive Alfredo Panlilio said.
Part of the Department of Energy’s goal is to increase the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix to 35 percent by 2030 and to 50 percent by 2050.
Data from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis show that coal still accounts for 57 percent of the Philippines’ power supply. Renewables, meanwhile, contribute 21 percent and natural gas, 19 percent.
For its part, First Gen cited its decision in 2016 to close its doors on coal-fired power plants to keep its energy portfolio “clean and green.”
“It was one of the most significant business decisions we made to show how serious we are in pursuing our decarbonization mission,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Giles Puno said.
First Gen is a subsidiary of conglomerate First Philippine Holdings Corp.