Palawan will soon be home to the Philippines’ largest micro-grid solar power plant, generating 1.3 megawatts of clean renewable energy.
Costing P325 million, the plant will have 5,000 solar panels that will provide power to over 600 customers – homes, businesses and hotels – in Puerto Princesa City’s Sabang District. It will also have a battery pack, the largest in the ASEAN region, that will release stored energy during heavy cloud cover or bad weather.
To put that in perspective, a mobile phone battery has about 4.6 watthours, while the Sabang plant’s battery pack is 782,000 times bigger, packing 3,600,000 Wh.
To provide nighttime power, the plant will also be equipped with diesel generators that can produce 1 MW of electricity. Mr Atem S. Ramsundersingh, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore-based WEnergy Global Pte Ltd, said the generators will run on diesel fuel for the meantime. WEnergy Global Pte Ltd has a 40% stake in the project.
“Hopefully these machines will run on biodiesel in the near future to get a full clean system. We cannot use biodiesel now as it is much more expensive than normal diesel,” said Ramsundersingh. “But the power plant is designed in such a way that we will use about 50 percent solar/battery and 50 percent diesel which brings our power plant close to carbon neutral: no pollution!”
The plant will be operated by Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation, a joint venture between local company Delta-P Inc, a company that runs diesel power plants in Palawan, and WEnergy Global Pte Ltd, which provides the solar energy expertise.
Mr Ramsundersingh said they are currently in the final stages of doing the necessary paperwork. The plant, which will provide power to Sabang via a 15-kilometer micro-grid, is expected to be completed by September. The grid will have “smart” meters and offer low and high tariffs to encourage users to use solar power more than diesel at night.
Largest PH solar power plant to rise in Palawan by Norman Sison, VERA Files: