It’s all systems go for the construction of a four-hectare solar farm that would power up Barangay Cabayugan, the home of Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR).
PPUR Park Superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said this week the developer of the Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) Project, also called the “Sabang Project,” will begin building the solar farm next month.
“Here’s the good news – the construction of the four-hectare solar farm will start by November,” Maclang said in a press conference held Thursday, October 12, for the upcoming PPUR Festival.
She said a contract has already been inked in August.
The Sabang Project is compatible with the unique, fragile environment of the park, a protected area declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also listed as one of the Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, and New 7 Wonders of Nature.
“This solar farm will minimize the potential oil spill coming from the power generator sets of residential houses and commercial establishments located inside the park,” she said.
In its website, the Netherlands-based developer WE Renewables (WER) said the project aims to supply 24/7 power to about 650 small and large off-takers in Cabayugan “in a close to carbon neutral manner.”
“The Sabang Project will not only improve standards of living for local residents, but will also create a sound platform for business activity in the region to flourish,” the company said.
SREC is a Hybrid Power Project, which has a Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant of 1.4 megawatt peak, a clean Battery Pack of 2.3 megawatt hour, the largest clean Battery in Southeast Asia, 1.2 megawatt of Diesel Generators and 15 km of Smart Grid.
“With our hybrid solar plant, we can help reduce over 25,700 tons of carbon emissions,” SREC President Walden Tantuico said during the public hearing in September 2015.
The developer said it is also helping the PPUR management in the development of the “Qualitative Plan for Sustainability of Cabayugan 2015,” which aims at providing guidance to urbanization-with-aesthetics induced by economic development in the community.
“With continuous supply of power, rapid urbanization and industrialization will be induced and [they] can create significant negative impact on the [park’s] whole ecosystem, starting from deforestation and new constructions to motorization and congestion,” the WER said.
“Apart from providing clean and green power to the residents, the project aims at ensuring sustainable growth of the whole area,” it added.
The project is covered by an agreement with the Palawan Electric Cooperative, which authorizes SREC to supply electricity for 15 years to the whole barangay. The agreement also provides for a subsequent five-year extension period.
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