Biggest solar-diesel hybrid project switches on in Sept

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s biggest solar-diesel hybrid power plant unveiled by President Duterte in Tablas Island, Romblon will start operating next month.

Owned and operated by SUWECO Tablas Energy Corp. (STEC), the company invested P550 million in the Tumingad solar power plant.

The power plant is capable of producing 7.5-megawatt peak (MWp) of electricity to support the daytime power requirements of the island’s 43,400 households.

Excess solar power will be stored in the plant’s batteries and will be used to maintain a reliable system while diesel generators will produce electricity at night.

STEC said the hybrid plant is scheduled to commence commercial operations by September.

Once it starts operating, the power plant is expected to save about three million liters of fossil fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 6.5 million kilograms per year.

“An estimated P180 million per year will be saved from the government subsidy for universal charge for missionary electrification,” STEC said.

Located in a nine-hectare property in Tablas, STEC’s solar facility is committed to provide clean, green and reliable energy to the entire island.

The power plant’s inauguration comes at the heels of President Duterte’s call to the Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate the development of renewable energy resources to reduce the country’s dependence on traditional energy sources like coal.

In Tablas alone, some 43,400 households used to experience daily power outages due to limited supply from state-owned National Power Corp.’ s Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).

SPUG areas are those that are not connected to the national grid and therefore depend on diesel-power sets.

STEC is an affiliate of Sunwest Water and Electric Co. Inc. (SUWECO), a pioneer in the implementation of hybrid technology in the Philippines, is a major power player in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Romblon and Antique which operates several mini-hydro and diesel power plants.

The firm is a member of the Sunwest Group Holding Co. Inc., a business conglomerate founded by Legazpi-based entrepreneur Elizaldy Co.

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