PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — A 2.4-megawatt hybrid power plant designed to operate as a 100-percent renewable energy source in the future is expected to begin operation at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) in the second quarter of 2019.
It is a project of the Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan, home of the “underground river” World Heritage Site.
Atem Ramsundersingh, the chief executive officer of the one-stop-shop provider of renewable energy solutions, WEnergy Global Pte. Ltd. (WGPL), on Monday said they have already completed all required permits and licenses by the government to start full operation next year.
WGPL is a global company that offers a long experience in renewable energy projects and is one of the proponents of the Sabang Project.
Also called the “Sabang Project,” the renewable energy initiative is designed to produce 1.4-megawatt peak (MWp) of power from the sun combined with a 2.3-megawatt-hour (MWh) battery pack, 1.2-megawatt diesel generators, and a 14-kilometer Smart Grid.
The whole hybrid renewable energy project aims to provide 24/7 electricity to around 650 households and business establishments in the concession area.
Ramsundersingh said they also envision the Sabang community to be a model for sustainable renewable energy generation in the country by utilizing 60 percent solar and 40 percent biodiesel.
“We have designed the power plant in such a way that in the future, it will operate 100 percent renewable,” he said.
He explained the project will also conduct regular environment protection activities, such as the construction of dikes along the river near their the plant area, and planting of vegetables under the solar panels.
Their plant area will cater to the public too, who wish to learn and be educated about renewable energy, particularly tourists who visit the subterranean river.
This way, he said, the people’s knowledge of the protection of the environment can be increased.
“They will be very welcome to visit the plant. We feel that this place has to be done in a way that it sets an example,” he added.
WEnergy Power Pilipinas, Inc. (WPPI) president Quintin Pastrana said the Sabang Project is a combination of energy, agriculture, and ecotourism, which is a first in any mini-grid power project in the country.
“This also helps other projects to follow a more sustainable integrated model,” he said.
The SREC will be selling the generated power at PHP15 per kilowatt hour to business establishments and PHP12 to households in Sabang.