Solar Philippines is putting up microgrid projects in 10 locations this year to provide electricity supply in other off-grid areas across the country, a top official said. The projects cost around $15 million.
“We will be bringing 24-hour power to a dozen or more towns before the end of this year,” Solar Philippines founder and president Leandro Leviste said.
Leviste said the town areas being eyed are in Cagayan, Isabela, Batangas, Mindoro, Romblon, Masbate, Palawan, and Davao.
Microgrid projects in Claveria, Masbate and Calayan, Cagayan will be completed within the month, Leviste said.
Projects in Divilacan and Maconacon, Isabela will be finished within 60 days; and the other towns within four to five months.
“We’ve set up a social enterprise arm called Solar Para sa Bayan which will be implementing these money losing projects and seeding that equity from our profits in our solar farms,” Leviste said.
The solar component would cost around $1 million per megawatt (MW), $0.3 million per megawatt-hour (MWh) for storage and around the same amount for diesel for a total of around $1.5 million for the whole project, Leviste stated.
“We’re losing a decent amount of money initially. But if we can help these people out of poverty, power demand will increase and the towns will become a viable market,” Leviste said.
Solar Philippines finished its first solar-battery microgrid project in Palauan, Mindoro in March, which has two megawatts (MW) of solar panesls, 2 MWh of batteries, and 2 MW of diesel backup that can provide reliable power everyday.
The panels used from the project were from the Solar Philippines factory in Batangas. It is also the first microgrid in Asia to utilize Powerpack from Tesla, which is a leading manufacturer of batteries and electric vehicles.
The utility solar farms are located in Tarlac, Cavite, and Batangas; bulk of the capacity of these plants are contracted.
The first covers a 50-MW supply from Solar Philippines Tanauan Corp. (SPTC) at P5.39 per kilowatt-hour rate (kwh), which the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved.
The other involves an 85-MW supply at a rate of P2.9999 per kwh which has yet to be approved by the ERC.