• Off-grid areas to go hybrid by 2020

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    The National Power Corp. (Napocor) is eyeing to combine renewable energy (RE) systems with diesel power plants in 20 off-grid areas by 2020.

    In a presentation, Napocor Corporate Affairs Group Vice President Urbano Mendiola said the corporation targets to complement the diesel power plants of 20 off-grid areas with renewable energy systems such as solar and wind.

    He said the corporation plans to install renewables in five areas by 2017, namely Gigantes, Iloilo; Almagro, Samar; Sto.Nino, Samar; Doong, Cebu and Maripipi, Biliran.

    By 2018, on the other hand, Napocor also eyes to install RE systems in Guintarcan, Samar; San Vicente, Northern Samar; Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi; Sacol, Zamboanga and Jomalig, Quezon.

    Mendiola added that another five diesel power plants are targeted to have renewables by 2019. The power plants are based in Luuk, Sulu; Banton, Romblon; Concepcion, Iloilo: Tagapul-an, Samar; and Balimbing, Tawi-Tawi.

    By 2020, Napocor plans to have similar installations in Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi; Manuk-Mangkaw, Tawi-Tawi; Balut, Sarangani; Hikdop, Surigao and Palanan, Isabela.

    Mendiola noted the areas were picked for their tourism potential.

    Currently, the 21 areas are dependent on diesel generation for their power supply, which is more expensive due to unconventional mode of transport.

    Mendiola stressed some oil suppliers have difficulty in transporting diesel barrels as some men have to carry it through bodies of water.

    Off-grid areas have power due to the universal charge for missionary electrification (UCME), which is paid by grid-connected customers.

    PNA

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