7 March 2013 Getting Connected to Clean Solar Electricity
The First Renewable Energy Plant on Palawan, The Philippines
The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), the City Government of Puerto Princesa City and WEnergy Global Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based renewable energy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of a hybrid electric power plant to cover electricity supply of the Baranguy Cabayugan.

The signing of the MoU took place on March 7th, 2013 at the Sheridan Resort & Spa, in Sabang, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The signing ceremony has been witnessed by participants of the Conference of the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO). The signing ceremony was also witnessed by several officials of the City Government, PALECO and representatives of the Barangay Chairman Ramil Gonzales of Barangay Cabayugan and other stakeholders.

The MoU was signed by the Chairman of PALECO, Mr Ed Antonio, the City Government of Puerto Princesa, represented by the Mayor, His Honorable Mr Edward Hagedorn, and CEO of WEnergy Global Pte Ltd, Mr Atem S Ramsundersingh, who came over from Singapore. Also present during the signing ceremony were Ms Rohima Sarra, General Manager of PALECO and the members of the Board of Directors, and Department Managers of Paleco and Mr Joseph L. Pardian, Jr, Atty. IV/Acting Assistant City Legal Officer. APEC Party List Representative Mr Ponsciano Payuyo was also present.

WEnergy Global Pte Ltd is a global one-stop-shop solution provider for renewable energy systems, and its headquarters is based in Singapore. WEnergy Global Pte Ltd is currently in the process of concluding the incorporation of a joint-venture company in The Philippines with strong local partners to ensure that international knowhow and local experience is put into place for the successful application and deployment of renewable energy in The Philippines.

As stated in the MoU, the objectives of the cooperation are as follows:

To plan, design, build, operate and own a solar PV power plant with a minimum installed capacity of 1-1.5 MWp, combined with appropriate technologies and infrastructure, to ensure an optimal supply of electricity (“24/7”) that will satisfy the current and future demands in Barangay Cabayugan, with an immediate focus on the area of Sabang, in a cost-effective way and with sufficient commercial coverage of the interests of private investors i.e. a Qualified Third Party (QTP) to be established by WEnergy Global Pte Ltd.

To transfer the power plant and micro-grid to PALECO for a ‘transfer value’ at the end of the 10th year of operation. The ‘transfer value’ shall be determined and concluded in a separate agreement between WEnergy Global Pte Ltd and PALECO. PALECO shall also, under a separate Management Contract with WEnergy Global, undertake the billing, collection, and maintenance of the micro grid during the period of operation by the WEnergy Global.

The MoU is an important milestone in the process of building a clean City in the Forest. In particular the nature protected areas of Puerto Princesa City. As stated in the Comprehensive Development Plan, Approved Version by the City Council, on August 6th, 2011, Puerto Princesa City is to be a model city in sustainable development, exhibiting the character of a city in a forest and demonstrating the proper balance between development and environment. Especially when economic development is to be boosted by the arrival of over one million tourists in the coming years.

This is also a step in PALECO’s plan of integrating renewable energy in its aggregate power supply in compliance with the provisions of the Renewable Energy Law.

For a 24/7 electricity provision, decentralized mini-grids powered by solar PV power with a battery-pack and a gas-generator is considered to be the cleanest solution for electrification. The Sabang Clean Power Plant can be built in less than 3-4 months once all licenses are obtained. The most challenging part is expected to be to obtain these licenses from the relevant local, provincial and national authorities, which could require 4-8 months.

The City in the Forest, Puerto Princesa City and PALECO are setting the stage for the future of energy supply in The Philippines by enabling the Magic of the Mix in Energy to contribute to stable prices for consumers and the mitigation of global warming.