LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp., through its renewable energy arm Energy Development Corp. (EDC), has energized the facilities of PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. in Visayas.

In a statement, First Gen said that through a supply partnership with its renewable energy company, PLDT and Smart are expanding their transition to renewable energy.

EDC will power up the telcos seven facilities in Cebu, Samar, Capiz, and Iloilo with geothermal energy.

“In 2016, we made the decision to close our doors to coal-fired power plants to keep our energy portfolio clean and green. It was one of the most significant business decisions we made to show how serious we are in pursuing our decarbonization mission,” Francis Giles B. Puno, president and chief operating officer of First Gen, said in a media release.

Melissa V. Vergel De Dios, PLDT and Smart chief sustainability officer, first vice-president, and head of investor relations, said that the initiative would help save around P27 million in electricity costs per year for the combined seven facilities.

“This will also support our broader decarbonization roadmap and will enable us to reduce our emissions by about 16,000 tons this year, which amounts to 26% of our total target emissions reduction for 2023,” Ms. De Dios said.

First Gen said the companies are also exploring further expansion of geothermal energy use for their sites in the Philippines, which include data centers.

“We have committed to make sustainability part of the way we operate and shall remain steadfast in delivering on our decarbonization targets. As we turn to renewables and clean energy, we are also supporting the Philippine government’s plan for green energy transition,” said PLDT and Smart President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio. — Ashley Erika O. Jose