The 2.4-megawatt hybrid power plant of the Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan is expected to commence full operation in the second quarter of 2019 after completing all required government permits and licenses.
The project is designed to produce 1.4 megawatts of electricity from solar energy, combined with 1.2 megawatts from diesel generators to power a 14-circuit kilometer distribution facility.
According to Atem S. Ramsundersingh, chief executive officer of WEnergy Global Pte. Ltd., the construction of the distribution lines will begin in January 2019.
WEnergy is a global company with a long experience in renewable energy projects and is one of the proponents of the Sabang hybrid power project.
A total of 650 households, which are mostly hotels, restaurants, and resorts, will benefit from the project.
Apart from providing renewable energy to the Sabang community, the SREC wants to showcase the project as a model in sustainable renewable energy generation in the Philippines by utilizing 60 percent solar and 40 percent biodiesel.
Biofuel is derived from biomass and is considered to be a source of renewable energy.
“We have designed the power plant in such a way that in the future it will operate 100 percent renewable,” Ramsundersingh said Monday.
Ramsundersingh explained that in the process of project development, they will conduct environmental protection activities in the surrounding environment like the construction of dikes along the river adjacent to the plant area and planting of vegetables under the panels.
SREC plans to open the area to the public, particularly the tourists, once it is completed. The idea is to educate them about renewable energy and best practices worthy of being emulated.
“They would be very welcome to visit the plant. We feel that this place has to be done in a way that it sets an example,” Ramsundersingh said.
Quintin Pastrana, president of WEnergy Power Pilipinas Inc., said the project is an integration of energy, agriculture, and ecotourism which is first in mini-grid power projects in the country.
“This also helps other projects to follow the more sustainable integrated model,” he said.
When the project becomes operational next year, SREC envisions that economic activities in the community of Sabang will be hastened and will improve the living conditions of the residents.
With the 24/7 electricity in Sabang, the tourism sector will greatly benefit as it will lower the cost of power generation compared to using diesel to run the generator sets.
SREC will be selling power at a subsidized cost of P12.00 per kilowatt hour for residential and P 15.00 for commercial establishments.
The Sabang Project is by Gigawatt Power, Inc., Palawan Electric Cooperative, Vivant Corporation, and WEnergy Global Pte. Ltd.
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