Solar Philippines has completed the largest solar-battery micro-grid in Southeast Asia, designed to supply reliable power 24 hours a day in the town of Paluan, Occidental Mindoro at 50 percent less cost compared to that charged by local electric cooperatives.
The micro-grid, powered by 2-MW solar panels, 2-MWh batteries and 2-MW diesel backup generators, uses panels from Solar Philippines, and is also the first in Asian to feature the latest Powerpack from Tesla, the leading manufacturer of batteries and electric vehicles.
This completion of the project also marked the launch of “Solar Para Sa Bayan,” an initiative by Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste to bring cheaper, more reliable power to areas poorly served by utilities, in support of the Duterte administration’s aim to end energy poverty by 2022.
At the project’s inauguration on March 11, residents raised a banner proclaiming “No More Brownouts,” and as they celebrated the event as a turning point for Paluan, which never experienced continuous power supply 24/7.
To express gratitude for being chosen for this pioneering project, Palueños organized a program, which was attended by over 2,000 people from across Occidental Mindoro, who asked for similar solar-battery micro-grids to be constructed in their respective hometowns.
In his welcoming remarks, Paluan Mayor Carl Pangilinan said the town was first energized in 1978 by the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO) for only four hours a day. OMECO has since waived its franchise given its difficulties in serving the town.
In 2014, National Power Corporation (NPC) resumed service, for an average of 16 hours a day, with outages sometimes lasting several days.
But since Solar Philippines began operations in December 2017, Pangilinan noted that Palueños were able to enjoy their first-ever Christmas without brownouts. He also said that students can now study at night and use computers in school, and that the establishment of an ice plant is now being planned to support local fishermen.
Apart from reliable power, Solar Philippines is serving the town at 50 percent lower the cost asked by NPC, which spends up to P20 billion a year for universal charges for missionary electrification subsidy.