Richard Ha writes:
I’m still in Ormoc City. We visited the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) geothermal production site the other day. It generates 700 MW in the Ormoc City area. Its five projects range from 50 to 230 MW in this area, and they have other geothermal projects in other areas.
This is a company that knows what it’s doing. They have expertise in steam field geothermal, the kind that would be most applicable in Hawai‘i.
We toured the Tongonan field, which has a plant capacity of 112 MW. It consists of 17 production wells and 7 reinjection wells. Its source is a volcano that last erupted 100,000 years ago.
EDC is impressive because of its years of experience and because of the social and environmental component of its business philosophy. At EDC, they have been doing this as a part of their business model for many years. They work with the surrounding communities in many areas of mutual benefit – from tax credits, to schooling, reforestation, etc. Each of the plants has a nurse on station. They are very safety conscious.
However, I must note Hawai‘i’s standards for hydrogen sulfide emissions are much more stringent than either the Philippines or the Icelandic operations’.
Palinpinon Geothermal power plant in Sitio Nasulo, Brgy. Puhagan, Valencia, Negros Oriental. Photo by Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Philippines, which lies alongside the Pacific Ring of Fire, is the second largest geothermal producer in the world. They are actively developing more geothermal there than the 1,400 MW that exists today. Using this stable, low-cost and proven technology resource will pay enormous dividends to its society in the future.
It is clear to see that as the price of oil rises, and they bring more geothermal on line, individual Filipinos will start to see their standard of living rise. If we in Hawai‘i took similar bold steps, our standard of living could also rise.