By Myrna M. Velasco
Transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has cemented a partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI) for the deployment of renewable energy (RE) technologies for communities that have yet to advance on their energy access.
Via NGCP’s “Green Spark Program”, it sealed a three-component program with UPLBFI that will help address communities’ need for transportation and power source that will be leaning on RE resource deployments.
The target is for the UPLBFI and NGCP to develop energy systems that shall be intact – especially on power source, even in times of calamities.
As indicated by NGCP, the project will enable the parties to develop RE-based stand-alone technologies that shall be tailor-fitted to communities, the pilot venture of which will be Barangay Macabud, a village in Rizal province.
The pilot site, it was noted, “has no source of electricity but hosts two of NGCP’s transmission lines” chiefly the 500-kilovolt San Jose-Tayabas and 230kV San Jose-Taytay lines.
Both transmission facilities are serving bulk of the power capacity being wheeled to end-users in Metro Manila – from various generating plants in the Luzon grid.
For the energy access of the targeted village, NGCP emphasized that it recently turned over one electric integrated solar and wind charging station; one electric hand tractor with cargo trailer; and four electric tricycles.
“The charging station will provide a renewable source of electricity,” the transmission firm said, adding that “the tractor will allow the community to boost agricultural production,” while the e-tricyle will be the community’s means of mobility.
The beneficiary-barangay has more than 10,000 residents – and their subsistence heavily relies on agriculture, hence, during rainy season, “the dirt roads and rolling terrain will make it difficult for farmers to transport their harvests.”’
Relative to this initiative, NGCP noted that it also pursued partnership with UP “to empower marginalized sectors of its host communities of opportunities for self-reliance” – the focus of which had been on skills training and livelihood programs.
The transmission company further emphasized that under the program, array of activities had been carried out – delving on: skills on bamboo and buri handicrafts; welding; sewing; baking; cooking; meat processing; food processing; cacao nursery; herbs, vegetables and ornamental plants gardening; micropoultry; bread making; clay pottery; vinegar making; as well as snack and dessert preparation.