PLDT Inc. has tapped Energy Development Corp. (EDC) to supply power to its facilities in Davao as part of its decarbonization roadmap, which aims to further reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 40 percent by 2030.
“During the quarter, PLDT signed an agreement with First Gen’s Energy Development Corp. (EDC) for the supply of geothermal power to six PLDT facilities in Davao which will commence once the Mindanao WESM [Wholesale Electricity Spot Market] is operational,” the phone giant reported during its nine-month earnings briefing.
The WESM in Mindanao is set to start commercial operations by the end of the year. Mindanao Development Authority deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro had said that “Mindanao gets ready to transition from bilateral contracts to market-operated electricity regime with the anticipated commercial start of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market Mindanao by yearend.”
When sought for comment, PLDT President Alfredo Panlilio said in a text message that the power supply deal with the subsidiary of Lopez-led First Gen Corp. involves 3.45 megawatts (MW). “The estimated annual consumption of 16.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) is equivalent to avoiding about 12,700 kiloton.”
EDC is the largest producer of geothermal energy in the country and the second largest in the world.
In Visayas, Panlilio mentioned that PLDT has inked a similar deal. “Another 3.7MW for seven Visayas sites,” he said.
Last July, PLDT energized another facility in the Visayas with solar rooftop. Located along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City, the installed PV (photovoltaic) panels on the rooftop of PLDT Jones will generate approximately 214,553 kWh of solar power annually.
This is the third PLDT facility in the Visayas to be partly powered by solar energy. Two more offices in the Visyas are set to be equipped with solar panels soon.
During the same briefing, PLDT also reported that Smart Communications Inc. is likely to utilize solar and battery energy storage for some of its cellular sites.
“Smart is exploring the use of solar panels and batteries in running its cell sites in selected areas of the country to complement power sourced from the commercial grid and reduce the cell sites’ reliance on generators,” PLDT added.
Panlilio said the company continues to run tests on 17 cell sites and that the actual number of cell sites to use this technology will be determined after the tests are done.
“Solar panels with battery for cell sites is under a six-month proof of concept (POF) still. Testing under different local conditions, and for various grid types,” he added.
Last July, PLDT announced that it was set to power 20 PLDT and Smart facilities with renewable energy as part of its green and sustainability efforts.
PLDT is also deploying electric vehicles (EVs) to be initially assigned to selected service personnel handling home broadband installation and repair within Metro Manila. The phone giant will add more EVs to its fleet under its Green Fleet Program.
These initiatives underscore PLDT’s efforts in helping the country achieve its commitment under the Paris Agreement and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) particularly SDG No. 7 on affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.