A resolution endorsing the establishment of hybrid microgrid electrification in 16 areas from seven municipalities in Palawan has been approved by the Committee on Energy of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

These areas are considered to be off-grid because the main transmission lines of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) are unable to reach them.

The committee approved Archipelago Renewables Corporation (ARC) as a Qualified Third-Party (QTP) provider after winning the Competitive Selection Process and signing a service contract on September 1, 2022 to provide “electrification in unserved and unreserved areas of the country through its hybrid microgrid projects.”

Board Member Ryan Maminta, who co-authored the resolution with Board Member Juan Antonio Alvarez, stated that the final details of the program are currently being worked out by ARC, who is also in talks with the communities.

Maminta said the project components will include solar farms with Tesla batteries that will be backed up by a diesel generator, transmission and distribution lines.

“Right now, the company is securing necessary documents like clearances after which, the implementation – construction and installment of equipment, will commence. The company applied for 35 areas for the CSP but only 16 were approved,” Maminta said.

“The expected energy sales will commence on the 3rd quarter of year 2024. This is a 10-year contract with PALECO and this is ERC-DOE subsidized where electricity sale will be around P12 per kilowatt hour,” he added.

Areas that will benefit from the energization program include barangays Sarong and Taratak in Bataraza; Brgy. Bohol, Dumaran; Brgy. Sto. Tomas, Dumaran; Brgy. Bebeladan, El Nido; Brgy. Kalatagbak, Quezon; Sitio Linao, and Sitio Proper in Brgy. Taburi, Rizal; Brgys. Canipaan and Latud, Rizal; Sitio Gawid and another unspecified sitio in Brgy. Caruray, San Vicente; Brgys Binga and Caruray, San Vicente; and Brgys. Alacalian, Bantulan and Silanga, Taytay.

Each solar farm will have a different targeted output that will depend on the number of households.

Maminta further stated that the energization program is in compliance with the Microgrid Systems Act (Republic Act 11646) where remote areas that cannot be reached by PALECO will be directly contracted by the DEO for electrification.

“Following this, I will talk with PALECO officials and ask them what other areas will they waive so that it will be undertaken by the DOE and NAPOCOR,” Maminta said.