The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday inaugurated the first hybrid renewable energy power system in Sitio Green Island in Roxas, Palawan.
In a statement, the US Embassy said residents of Sitio Green Island—categorized as a “missionary area,” or an area that is not connected to the main electricity grid – will now enjoy reliable and sustainable electricity using hybrid renewable energy.
Missionary areas are often powered by small generator sets run by diesel or bunker fuel, which is costly and unreliable. Missionary areas are often so remote that it is hard to establish electric power systems.
Through its Climate Change and Clean Energy (CEnergy) Project, USAID helped build a 25.5-kilowatt (kW) hybrid renewable energy power system on the island. The system is composed of a biomass gasifier, which uses plant-derived energy, along with solar panels and wind turbines. The pilot project will result in the provision of electricity to over 50 households in Green Island’s Zone IV, the area furthest from the diesel-generator set.
The renewable energy system was initiated in support of the Philippine government’s Energy Reform Agenda, Energy Access for More, which aims to provide electricity for Filipinos from all parts of the country.
Gloria Steele, USAID Philippines mission director, said they are hoping that the pioneering initiative will be replicated so that more communities especially in remote areas in the country can have access to electricity and help contribute to economic development.
This project is implemented in partnership with the local government of Roxas and the Palawan Center for Appropriate Rural Technology, which will eventually own and operate the Hybrid RE Power Station.
As part of the sustainability plan, the project includes an ice-flake maker to help preserve the catch of fisherfolk, and a reverse-osmosis machine as a source of potable water for the residents of Green Island.
The establishment of the Hybrid RE Power System was made possible through a grant awarded to Solutions Using Renewable Energy Inc. under the USAID-CEnergy Grants Program.
The Green Island project is one of the six grants of USAID’s Cenergy Project, which promotes renewable energy for utilization in the power and transport sectors.