A small island community in San Vicente with 120 households will experience a non-stop power supply before Christmas Day.
Ynna Lauron Doblado, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) program manager in Palawan, said that their micro-grid project is an initiative of the company under the energy access program to provide electricity to remote or off-grid areas in Palawan.
On Wednesday, PSFI broke ground at Sitio Albaguen, Barangay Port Barton for the micro-grid project called “SINAG” or Save, Invest, Nurture, Access to Green Energy and Technologies, which is aimed at connecting the remote areas in Palawan to the energy supply.
Before December this year, an elementary school, daycare center, church, basketball court, plaza, and houses will be powered up by SINAG.
After a year depending on generator sets, the power coming from a micro-grid system that will be built by PSFI will provide 24/7 energy access to the residents, she said.
“Kapag pumipili kami ng site, usually, ito ay off-grid meaning ito ang mga lugar na walang plano ang gobyerno o utility company na pailawan for the next 10 years. Isa pa po, dapat may community na very cooperative na gawin ang program, as well as ‘yong local government unit (LGU). Kaya before Christmas ay may kuryente na sila dito 24/7, walang brownout ‘yon,” she said.
Albaguen micro-grid is a 25-kilowatt solar and 3-kilowatt wind power with a 35 kilovolt-ampere backup generator.
Doblado said that they are also set to organize an association to manage the micro-grid once it’s done composed by the locals in the village.
PSFI deputy executive director Marvi Trudeau also emphasized that PSFI is giving the project for free but residents should cooperate for its sustainability.
“April pa lang sana ay sisimulan ito pero dahil may pandemic ay na-delay. Ang hinihingi ko lang ay alagaan ito. Ang susunod na proyekto ay naka-depende sa kung paano ito aalagaan [ng komunidad],” she said.
Mayor Amy Alvarez also thanked the PSFI for granting the request.
“By December 24 hours na ang inyong ilaw. Last year pa natin ito hinihingi kaya thank you sa PSFI,” Alvarez said.
Barangay Port Barton councilor Melvin Ballesteros said that the project will boost not only the livelihood of the residents but also the educational aspect of the children.
He also reminded the residents to help in maintaining the micro-grid facility once it is operational.
“Kami ay nagpapasalamat dahil alam namin na hindi lang sa kabuhayan kundi sa pang edukasyong aspeto ang maiitulong nito. Ito po ay grant sa atin pero kalakip nito an gating pangangalaga sa kanilang ibinigay,” he said.
To date, PSFI has already established six micro-grid projects in different areas in Palawan — the Batak Village Micro-Grid Project in Sitio Kalakwasan, Barangay Tanabag, Puerto Princesa City; Ligad Micro-Grid Project in Sitio Ligad, Barangay Teneguiban, El Nido; Binaluan Micro-Grid Project in Sitio Binaluan, Barangay Liminangcong, Taytay; Decabaitot Micro-Grid Project in Barangay Decabaitot, Linapacan; Baras and Maytegued Micro-Grid Project in Barangays Baras and Maytegued, Taytay.
Sitio Albaguen, Barangay Port Barton is a small island whose residents mainly depend on the bounty of the sea.