1st hybrid plant in Mindanao launched

October 1, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 113 views

THE first hybrid power plant in Mindanao that will provide 24/7 electrification in the island municipalities of Sibutu and Sitangkai in Tawi-Tawi was launched on Wednesday, the European Union (EU) delegation in the Philippines said yesterday.

It was jointly launched by the Mindanao Development Authority, the European Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in an event held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

This initiative is part of the Renewable Energy Technology for Seaweeds Value-Added (RETS) project, a partnership between MinDA, the EU, and UNIDO, and local actors such as the Provincial Local Government of Tawi-Tawi, MAFAR-BARMM, Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography, the Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative (TAWELCO) and AIEC- Island Light and Water Corp.

With a total investment of over PHP 225.5 million, of which PHP 168.5 million have been provided by the EU, RETS has helped to extend the supply of electricity services in these island municipalities that are home to about 15,000 seaweed farmers, through the renewable energy hybridization of the local grids.

The project also integrates efforts to improve livelihoods by enhancing the quality and value of seaweeds produced by the communities.

“Supporting a seaweed value chain in a remote location in Tawi-Tawi by increasing the supply of renewable energy, strengthening the power grid, securing a steady water supply and enhancing community services in health, education, nutrition and sanitation, is not an easy feat. It is impressive. The European Union is proud to have been part of the partnership that made it possible. This project embodies the EU’s global commitment to fight climate change through environmentally sustainable development, while leaving no one behind” said the EU Delegation to the Philippines’ Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner.

“The EU Delegation has long been MinDA’s partner for peace and development. We are grateful to have the same support from them in our pursuit of a balanced and sustainable energy mix for Mindanao, especially in the off-grid communities,” said MinDA Secretary Maria Belen S. Acosta.

“When we provide more income-generating activities, we are also improving the households’ ability to pay for the energy service, which contributes to the sustainability of the project,” Acosta added.

RETS is funded by the EU under its larger (EUR 66 million, PHP 3 billion) Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP).

ASEP is the EU’s flagship programme in the promotion of renewable energy.

With a total investment of EUR 66M (PHP 3B) for 2016 to 2022, ASEP supports rural electrification in off grid, remote areas using solar home systems or hydropower, and promotes capacity building and research on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The support provided by ASEP combines investment funding, technical assistance and capacity building and grants for pro-poor and climate resilient solutions.

ASEP’s main partner institutions are the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Electrification Administration and the Climate Change Commission, as well as CSOs for the implementation of ASEP grants. The bulk of ASEP funding is concentrated in Mindanao.

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