Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources would meet with officials and engineers of SN Aboitiz next week to consider the establishment of floating solar farms to provide power to isolated fishing communities, especially those in the islands.
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DA, SN Aboitiz plan team-up for floating solar
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture plans to team up with SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP), the joint venture of SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp., for the establishment of floating solar farms in the country.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources would meet with officials and engineers of SN Aboitiz next week to consider the establishment of floating solar farms to provide power to isolated fishing communities, especially those in the islands.

Piñol has directed BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona to form a technical team to determine if the floating solar farms could serve various purposes.

“One is to generate power for remote fishing communities to run ice-making equipment and cold storage facilities. This will provide immediate solution to the problem of fishermen who live in remote and isolated islands who have been asking for ice-making facilities so they could bring their catch to the market,” Piñol said.

“Second is to serve as ‘payao’ or fish aggregating device, a traditional method of providing artificial haven where small fish species gather and attract big fish which prey on them. It is in the payao where local fishermen using hand lines catch high value fish,” he  said.

The DA-BFAR spends about P250,000 for each of the floating devices and has already deployed about 1,000 units across the country.

“The floating solar farms-cum-payao could be very useful in island provinces like Siquijor, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and other isolated fishing islands,” Piñol said.

“If proven viable, the DA-BFAR will establish a pilot project in one of the island fishing communities in Tawi-Tawi or Sulu,” he said.

SN Aboitiz recently switched on its first 200-kilowatt floating solar project over Magat Dam with plans to expand it with another 20 megawatts once stress tests to check its commercial viability are successful.

The company, through SNAP-Magat Inc., invested over $400,000 or nearly P24 million, in facility.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOLAR FARMS
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