BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government is conducting a study on the local power sector to come up with a power development road map for the province.

As of Wednesday, the process is ongoing with former governor Rafael Coscolluela, the province’s consultant on energy and environment, helming the project.

“This Friday, we have scheduled a focus group discussion (FGD) with power generators. Last week, we had FGD with the electric cooperatives,” Coscolluela said over the Provincial Capitol’s Radyo Negrense.

He said creating a group undertaking the Negros Occidental Power Sector Assessment Study or NOPSAS has been approved by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

As part of the study, Coscolluela said they have set up discussions with representatives from the various components of the power sector –transmission, generation, distribution, and consumers.

“We want to ask these sectors what is your situation now, and what is the reason why we cannot use reliable, affordable, sustainable, and renewable power. We are trying to understand the situation, and we had very good inputs from the electric cooperatives,” he added.

The three distribution utilities in the province include the Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, and Northern Negros Electric Cooperative.

Coscolluela said once the problems and constraints are identified and understood, they hope to find possible solutions.

The study group will then present a power sector development framework, and from this, a power development roadmap can be crafted.

Coscolluela noted that Negros is the single island in the country that has the potential to be fully self-reliant on local energy sources, particularly renewables such as geothermal, solar, and biomass.

“The potential and installed power is sufficient, but the problem is we cannot utilize some of these for various reasons,” he said. (PNA)