WIND AND SOLAR
Wind and solar power are forms of renewable energy that have gained traction with the recent development of more efficient and cost-effective technologies, making them more affordable and attractive in the global arena. They are considered among the cleanest and greenest sources of electricity because they emit no greenhouse gases or pollutants during energy production.
Through its 61.1 percent-controlled EDC, First Gen is harnessing the country’s renewable solar and wind energy. EDC’s 150-MW Burgos Wind Project and 6.82-MW Burgos Solar Project in Ilocos Norte have been in operations since 2014 and 2015, respectively. The newly launched 3.63-MW EDC Siklab Power Corporation (EDC Siklab) in Iloilo, which owns and operates EDC’s solar rooftop projects, is the latest addition to First Gen’s solar platform.
Burgos Wind Project posted its strongest revenues due to strong wind quality during the year, with a 16.2 percent increase in revenues, building on its performance in 2016. The 15.4 percent increase in its operating income can be attributed to higher revenues and lower G&A expenses. As for the plant’s net income, it climbed by 62.6 percent mainly due to the significant improvement in wind power generation, and a lower provision for income tax.
With EDC Siklab starting its operations of five solar rooftop systems in Gaisano Capital malls in La Paz, Iloilo in 2017, the solar platform generated higher sales volume, leading to an increase in revenues of 16.2 percent. However, other expenses following the initialization of these solar rooftops contributed a slight 2.4 percent decline in net income for the year 2017.
16.2% INCREASE in Burgos Wind’s revenues
2017 can be marked as the year that the Burgos Wind Project was exposed to the highest frequency of strong winds since the start of its operations. Because of this, the largest wind farm in the country generated 372.5 GWh of electricity, entailing a growth of 16.3 percent from the previous year.
For the solar platform, 2017 saw the successful commissioning of five solar rooftop systems (3.63 MW in total). In January, EDC and Gaisano Capital commissioned the 1.03-MW solar rooftop system in its mall in La Paz District, Iloilo City. The solar rooftop system, currently the largest in the province, can supply up to 50.0 percent of the mall’s daytime load, resulting in significant savings in electricity cost for Gaisano Capital. In the latter part of the year, four more solar rooftop systems in other Gaisano Capital malls were commissioned, namely the 761-kW Kalibo, 614-kW Passi, 614-kW Oton, and 614-kW Balasan installations. Thus, the solar business unit produced a total of 11.6 GWh of electricity in 2017, which increased by 18.4 percent from 2016.
As renewable energy comes to the forefront of the new energy economy, the increased adoption of solar and wind power is expected to take place as the technologies become more economical and accessible to the general market.
First Gen aims to expand its foothold in these two platforms, particularly in solar, where industrial, commercial, and even residential demands are predicted to rise in the coming years. The three solar rooftop systems of Gaisano Ormoc, Sogod, and Sorsogon (with a total installed capacity of 1.5 MW) are currently in the construction and preparation phase. EDC’s expertise in setting up, maintaining, and operating these rooftop systems continues to improve and will no doubt prove advantageous to new customers.