NPC to install 4 new hybrid solar systems at SPUG areas

Published May 1, 2021, 1:57 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

State-run National Power Corporation (NPC) will deploy four new solar photovoltaic (PV) and diesel hybrid systems to meet the electricity needs of its customers in off-grid areas, as served by its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) unit.

As noted by NPC President and CEO Pio J. Benavidez, the company will prioritize rollout of hybrid PV-diesel technologies within the 2021-2025 timeframe as cast in its Missionary Electrification Plan (MEP).

Under that energization blueprint, he indicated that the priority will be deployment of RE technologies – primarily solar hybrid for off-grid areas, or those domains that are not connected to main power grids.

Within this year, Benavidez stated that the target is to duplicate the initial success of their solar PV hybridization in Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte – and this shall be scaled in four project-areas in Cuaming Bohol for 55 kilowatt-peak (kWp) installation; 40kWp in Palumbanes in Catanduanes; 250kWp in Sabtang in Batanes; and another 250kWp in Itbayat, Batanes.

The pilot solar hybrid project of the company in Limasawa Island was completed in 2019; and was subsequently synchronized to the Limasawa diesel power plant in February last year.

According to NPC, since the start of operations of the solar hybrid system in Limasawa, “there had been reduction of the cost of electricity by an average of P0.97 per kilowatt hour and recorded fuel savings of about 31,000 liters of diesel with an estimated amount of P970,000.”

The company explained that the calculations had been “based on the actual fuel consumption and delivered price,” but it does not include yet the fixed operating costs of the facility.

NPC added if the cost of the Limasawa solar hybrid’s operation will be reckoned for the next five years, the aggregate fuel savings could sum up to 45,800 liters per year, which may then yield savings of P1.75 million annually.

“From a long-term perspective and considering the increase of fuel price and decrease of power production of the solar PV and its battery system, the hybrid system will reduce the cost of electricity at an average P1.33 per kWh and will allow an average diesel fuel savings of 38,700 liters per year,” the state-run company said.

It further specified that in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from that particular facility, this could redound to a reduction of 101,820 kilograms per year. Benavidez thus stressed that “with these promising developments and in response to the DOE’s strategic directive of promoting a low carbon future, NPC will be more proactive in building and integrating renewable energy in our SPUG areas.” (MMV)