An official of the Renewable Energy Association of the Philippines claim that minigrids can be of help to accelerate the government’s goal to nationwide electrification.
“Minigrid system will play an important role in ensuring and accelerating the total electrification of the country. Being an archipelagic country, centralized power generation can be challenging if not costly,” REAP President Erel Narida was quoted in a Manila Times report.
Narida mentioned the Sabang Renewable Energy Corp.’s (SREC) hybrid power plant in Palawan, which has a 1.4-megawatt peak (MWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant with a 2.3-megawatt per hour battery storage system and 1.2-megawatt diesel generators to power its 14-circuit-kilometer distribution facility.
SREC said this system has helped them provide around 50 percent of clean energy to the grid.
This is the first microgrid in Southeast Asia as well as the first hybrid power plant project approved by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Narida said the hybridization of RE is “more socially and environmentally acceptable due to reduced running time of diesel genset, and primary source of power is RE.”
“Very encouraging for local minigrid developers to follow suit. The next challenge is to accelerate replication with more participation of local SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) in the RE market space. The easing of regulations, access to funds , adaption of new RE technologies on integration and understanding the market both economics and social dynamics on island mini grid are key factors that we have to look into to accelerate this development,” he added.
According to DOE’s database, there are about 88.3 percent or 2..78 million households withouht access to electricity as of December 2017.
“Most of these households are located in Visayas and Mindanao, mostly small islands, either underserved using expensive diesel genset (generator sets) with limited operating or totally unserved,” he said.
“Minigrid system can utilize the indigenous, new and renewable energy like solar, wind, hydro, biomass or ocean in power generation that will eventually reduce our dependence on diesel or imported energy,” he added.