WEnergy Global Breaks Ground with Solar Hybrid Energy Project in Philippines
1st Government Approved Hybrid Powered Micro-Grid in Philippines
1st Hybrid Powered Micro-Grid in ASEAN
Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) today broke ground to launch Palawan’s first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to electrify the growing needs of the area that hosts the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
WEnergy Global, incorporated in 2012, is the initiator of the project, established SREC and holds a 40% stake in the joint venture company with Gigawatt Power Inc. (GPI, 30%) and Vivant Corporation (VC, 30%). GPI is a privately owned company that owns and operates diesel power plants across Philippines, while Vivant Corporation, a public-listed company in Manila, owns and operates several conventional power plants and a power grid in Cebu area in Philippines. SREC is a Philippine Government-certified RE Development and Operating company aiming to provide households and businesses in Barangay Cabayugan with 24/7 electricity.
The hybrid power plant will consist of 1.4 MWp solar PV with a 2.3 MWh battery storage system and 1.2 MW diesel generators to power a 14 circuit-kilometers distribution facility.
“The solar PV/Battery system enables SREC to provide an average of 50% of clean energy to the grid” says Walden H. Tantuico, President/CEO of SREC and President/CEO of Gigawatt Power Inc., a partner in this joint-venture.
WEnergy Global is the master planner of SREC project and has prepared the design, engineering and financial models for this unique and commercial micro-grid project. WEnergy Global will be responsible for the installation, testing and commissioning of the renewable energy part of the project, while it will be leading the supervision of the local civil and electrical works. The total project cost is SGD 10 million. In the project development stage, WEnergy Global collaborated with Singapore’s A-STAR Experimental Power Grid Center (EPGC) to run simulations to assess certain design parameters of this micro-grid.
For the Government of Philippines this project, due to its renewable energy portion, is expected to achieve savings on subsidies for rural electrification between PHP 200 million (USD 3.7m) – PHP 570 million (USD 11m) over a period of 20 years compared with a full-diesel operated power plant and depending on development of oil prices. With such savings, the Government of Philippines is able to accelerate its rural electrification program through the promotion of the use of renewable energy. Currently, Philippines has over 15 million people without access to electricity.
WEnergy Global’s hybrid power generation technology for SREC will not only provide round the clock electricity, but will also save an estimated 25,700 metric-tons of CO2-equivalent emissions over a 20 years lifetime. The total carbon-equivalent saving can be compared with saving approximately 9.1 million liters of gasoline or 7,136 hectares of carbon sequestering forests, equivalent to the size of almost 10,000 soccer fields. “This is an important contribution to green growth development and the fight against climate change.” says Atem S. Ramsundersingh, Director of SREC and Founder/CEO of WEnergy Global.
“If non-food based biodiesel would reach competitive prices with normal diesel, we would certainly consider using that to further increase the portion of clean energy to 100%, or alternative clean power generation technologies to reduce the role of diesel in this project.” says Tony Shibley, Advisor to SREC and Director of Gigawatt Power Inc.
Where as the barangay is currently at 36% level of electrification with only 3-6 hours of electricity augmented by several small diesel generators, this level will rise to 99% comprising a total of over 650 residential, public and commercial customers who will enjoy uninterrupted power supply through the SREC project.
“We are proud to partner with stakeholders of this critical project: the residents of Barangay Cabayugan, the local and national government agencies, owners of local businesses, the Palawan Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, the Protected Area Management Board, DENR, PALECO and our host local government, Puerto Princesa City, to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy to the host community while empowering them for future green growth.” Says Emil A. Garcia, Chairman of SREC and Director of Vivant Corporation.
The power plant occupies 3.55 hectares and will be designed to align with the natural beauty of the environment and will be in full compliance with key local and national regulatory requirements. The project is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be operated by SREC under a ERC-approved Qualified Third Party (QTP) Agreement with PALECO.
“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 R. Bayron. “This, together with the waste-to-energy project whose Operating Contract has just been signed by DOE Sec. Alfredo Cusi, adds to the renewable energy mix in Palawan’s energy configuration that is very much in consonance with our thrust to becoming the model in sustainable development in the country,” Bayron added.
The Sabang Project will also serve as a model for other clean energy projects in Palawan to protect the island paradise’s ecosystem and sustainable development.
See video link for the ERC Public Hearing in September 2015, unanimously approving the project by over 180 participants: https://youtu.be/Dae14RKqDkw