A Japanese power firm is looking into installing a one-megawatt (MW) solar-diesel mix power plant in Virac, Catanduanes.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on July 5 met with Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes and officials from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to discuss the Micro Grid System Project for Remote Island that the Japanese government is currently introducing in the country.
Under the proposal, a one-MW solar plant will be installed by TEPCO. Funding will be sourced through a grant-in-aid program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The city government of Virac will provide at least one hectare of open land for solar panels to be installed.
Mayor Laynes said that they could lend a portion of the nine-hectare land procured by the past administration from the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the project. The land is meant to be a relocation site for informal settlers.
Catanduanes was among five possible islands chosen by the Japanese government to be the trial site of the micro grid system project, NEA representatives said. The other prospective sites were Tablas, Busuanga, Mindoro and Romblon.
The project aims to improve the reliability of the Catanduanes power grid with the introduction of a “Smart Grid technology” that is also being implemented in Nijima Island in Japan.
A preliminary site study and technical discussion is set by NEA and Takaoka Toko engineers before drafting the finance application by the Japanese government. The grant agreement between Japan and Philippines will be facilitated by the Department of Energy and NEA.
Laynes told a local newspaper that the diesel power in the project would be needed to regulate the electricity generated by the solar plant.
TEPCO is the largest power supplier in Japan and is also the biggest wind farm operator with Eurus Energy with 22% of all wind turbines in operation.