By Lenie Lectura – August 27, 2018
from Business Mirror
SOLAR Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. will provide solar-based mini grids to 12 towns, benefiting an estimated 200,000 Filipinos at no cost to the government.
The company said on Monday this is in line with plans by Malacañang to issue an executive order to encourage private investment in rural electrification. The company is now completing hybrid mini grids to deliver electricity at a lower cost to consumers, and at zero cost to the government, in towns that have never before received adequate electric service.
These towns include Dumaran, Palawan; Claveria, Masbate; Calayan, Cagayan; Lubang, Occidental Mindoro; and Dingalan, Aurora.
“Our aim is not to make the most profit, but to help the greatest number of our fellow Filipinos. We hope all other stakeholders will, likewise, support such initiatives for the DOE to achieve its vision of ending energy poverty by 2022,” said Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste, who is also the founder of “Solar Para Sa Bayan” program.
In March 2018 Solar Para Sa Bayan installed Southeast Asia’s largest solar-battery mini grid for Paluan, Mindoro, bringing 24/7 power for the first time in the town’s history. The project is the first in Asia to feature power packs from Tesla, a leading supplier of batteries and electric vehicles.
The company now has mini grids operating in several provinces.
“It is sad to learn of towns where development has been hindered by the lack of reliable electricity. We hope our projects—in towns, such as Lubang, Dumaran, Claveria, Calayan, and Dingalan—will help communities reach their full potential. We are working overtime to ensure every town in the Philippines will enjoy the best service at the lowest cost as soon as possible,” said Leviste.
For years, the government and foreign development agencies have subsidized rural electrification efforts, but the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that over 2.3 million Filipino households still remain without electricity, while many more experience regular blackouts and are among the highest rates in Asia. The Department of Education notes that over 7,000 of its own schools lack electricity.