Firm targets millennials as it grows ‘cleanergy’ products

By Aileen Garcia-Yap |August 17,2016 - 10:18 PM
Aboitiz Power’s solar farm in Negros Occidental can generate 59 megawatts of power. (Aboitiz.com)

Aboitiz Power’s solar farm in Negros Occidental can generate 59 megawatts of power. (Aboitiz.com)

A homegrown power generating company is focusing on growing further its renewable power portfolio through the Open Access regime to tap into the growing interest among millennials for new energy-related products and services.

Wilfredo Rodolfo III, AboitizPower corporate branding and communications manager, told Cebu Daily News in an interview that the company would be looking to increase its portfolio under their “cleanergy” brand.

“Around 38 percent of our generation capacity is from our renewable energy portfolio under the ‘Cleneanergy’ brand,” said Rodolfo, when informed about the 2016 study by Accenture research about “The New Energy Consumer: Thriving in the Energy Ecosystem,” where millennials or those from ages 18 to 34 were found to be the first to sign up for new energy products and services.

At present, AboitizPower and its partners produce a total of 3,350 megawatts (MW) of power from 45 different power plants all over the country.

Rodolfo said they have a diverse mix of energy sources, which include geothermal, hydro, run-of-river hydro, coal, oil and just recently, solar and biomass.

He said another biomass facility would be operational this year.

“Once the Lian, Batangas biomass facility of subsidiary Aseagas becomes operational later this year, the Cleanergy brand will grow to 1,272 megawatts from 30 facilities that include small and big hydro, geothermal, solar power plants,” Rodolfo said.

Accenture study

The study by Accenture, a global professional services company, also showed that in the Philippines, 80 percent of millennials and 73 percent of Filipinos above 55 years old would be willing to sign for in-home energy management applications.

In fact, 56 percent of millennials and 50 percent of respondents who are over 55 years old would be more interested in automated energy management and would be willing to pay for it.

According to the study, Filipinos in general (90 percent of millennials and 80 percent of people over 55 years old) would likely be more satisfied if offered an in-home system that would automatically limit electricity and energy usage at peak periods of the day, and in return would provide additional credits to their bill.

Specifically, digital users across all age groups in the Philippines expressed interest in connected home services (97 percent), purchasing a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (75 percent) or signing up for solar panels (83 percent) in the next five (5) years, and expect their energy provider to partner with other companies to offer distributed energy resources (DER) related packages (85 percent).

RE thrust

The study coincides with the power generating firm’s thrust to increase their renewable energy (RE) sources.

At present, the company generates 1,263 MW from 29 hydro, geothermal and solar facilities around the country.

“The addition of Aseagas and biomass technology intensifies AboitizPower’s efforts in expanding our renewable energy portfolio. We are excited about biomass, and we hope to build more capacity through this technology,” said Antonio R. Moraza, AboitizPower president and chief operations officer.

By 2017, AboitizPower will also add more renewable energy facilities including Hedcor’s 68-MW hydropower project in Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon and SN Aboitiz Power’s (SNAP) 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro facility in Isabela, Rodolfo said.

“Hedcor aims to develop up to 200 MW of run-of-river hydropower projects in the next five years while SNAP plans to develop a 350-MW hydropower complex in Ifugao (province),” he said.

Early in 2016, AboitizPower also started delivering clean and renewable solar power through its 59 MW San Carlos Sun Energy project in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
“Since February this year, San Carlos Sun has been delivering clean and renewable power to the Visayas grid,” said Rodolfo.

Open Access

Rodolfo also said that the firm was hoping to sign up more customers under the Open Access regime in other parts of the country including the Visayas and Mindanao.

Under the Open Access regime, customers having an energy demand of at least 750kW can choose licensed Retail Electricity Supplier of their choice.

AboitizPower currently has three distribution companies in Cebu, namely the Visayan Electric Company (VECO), Mactan Enerzone and Balamban Enerzone.

According to Accenture, Harris Interactive conducted the 2016 study for the company, which involves surveys conducted online involving at least 9,000 interviews of individuals in 17 countries including the Philippines, which represent a range of regulated and competitive markets.

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