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Hybrid energy project breaks ground Tuesday in Puerto Princesa

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By Philippine News Agency

The Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) will break ground in Palawan its first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to provide power to Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan on Tuesday.

The hybrid power plant consists of a 1.4-megawatt peak (MWp) solar photovoltaics (PV) with a 2.3-megawatt (MW) battery storage system; and 1.2-MW diesel generators to power 14 circuit kilometer of distribution facility.

“The solar PV/battery system enables SREC to provide an average of 50 percent of clean energy to the grid,” Walden Tantuico, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the SREC and Gigawatt Power, said in a statement.

SREC, a Department of Energy (DOE)-registered renewable energy (RE) developer composed of WEnergy Global, Gigawatt Power Inc. and Vivant Corporation, aims to provide households and businesses in Cabayugan with 24/7 electricity.

Due to the project’s renewable (RE) component, the Philippine government may expect to realize savings on subsidies for rural electrification between PHP298 million (USD 5.7 million) and PHP527 million (USD 10 million) over 20 years compared with a full diesel operated plant.

The solar and batteries of the hybrid system reduce diesel consumption and make the cost less dependent on volatilities in the price of oil.

Such savings will enable the government to accelerate its rural electrification program while promoting RE.

SREC’s hybrid power generation technology will not only provide round the clock electricity but will also avoid about 25,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions over a 20-year lifetime.

The total carbon avoided can be compared to saving about 9.1 million liters of gasoline, or 7,136 hectares of carbon sequestering forests.

“This is an important contribution to green growth development and the fight against climate change,” said Atem Ramsundersingh, director of the SREC and CEO of WEnergy Global.

Only a few households and tourism-related establishments in Cabayugan have electricity, with supply lasting for about three to six hours from small diesel generators.

Cabayugan hosts the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The SREC project will power over 650 residential, public and commercial establishments with uninterrupted power supply.

The project is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be operated by SREC under an Energy Regulatory Commission-approved Qualified Third Party (QTP) agreement with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).

As QTP, SREC is authorized to generate and distribute electricity in Barangay Cabayugan, which has been waived from PALECO’s franchise area.

“SREC’s investment and operations will provide a catalyst to greater business and economic activity in the region. Beyond an increase in tourism investments and arrivals, the electricity infrastructure will spur the creation of more enterprises to improve the standard of living of Palawenos,” said Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron.

The Sabang project will also serve as a model for other clean energy projects in Palawan to protect the island paradise’s ecosystem and promote sustainable development.

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