NAPOCOR seeks support for SPUG hybridization


National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) is requesting support from the private sector to speed up the transition of off-grid areas to renewable energy (RE) to accomplish the hybridization project for NAPOCOR-Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG). 

In a report by the Philippine Star, NAPOCOR president and CEO office consultant Pablo Anido said that hybridization would take time without the help of the private sector. Should the project push through with the aid of the privately owned sector, more projects would be accomplished.  

The hybridization project is intended to lower fuel costs acquired by NAPOCOR, and decrease the universal charge for missionary electrification (UCME) subsidies. 

This proposal also calls for the involvement of the private sector in island grids and off-grid SPUG diesel power facilities, where NAPOCOR owns the transmission cables. 

However, NAPOCOR stated that the renewable energy power provider (REPP) must acquire a service contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) in addition to all other required approvals. The REPP is also in charge of developing, managing, and financing renewable energy sources. 

Moreover, the RE facility should be located within the electric cooperative or distribution utility facilities.

In contrast, NAPOCOR will acquire all of the electricity produced by the REPP through a renewable energy power purchase agreement. 

As mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, NAPOCOR is assigned to carry out missionary electrification in remote islands that are not connected to the main grid. 

With this mandate, the corporation operates 281 SPUG plants serving 125 islands nationwide. 

As part of its plan to lessen the blow of high fuel prices, NAPOCOR announced that it would discontinue securing diesel generating sets as part of its sustainability plan. This move will reduce losses experienced from increasing fuel costs. 

NAPOCOR’s president and CEO, Fernando Martin Roxas, previously claimed his aim to transition all SPUG areas to operate on 100% renewable energy by 2030.