Duterte inaugurates P550-M hybrid solar-diesel power plant in Romblon

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TABLAS ISLAND, Romblon
—President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated on Wednesday the P550-million Tumingad Solar Power Project, the country’s first and largest hybrid solar-diesel microgrid with battery facility.

Speaking before the attendees of the inauguration rites, President Duterte said the commercial operation of the 7.5-MWp hybrid solar-diesel power plant will pave the way to a greener tomorrow for Romblon and the rest of the country. It is a milestone, he said, not only for the people of the province but also for the environment.

“I thank Sunwest Water and Electric Co. [SUWECO] for being our partner in introducing and providing green energy to different parts of the country, especially in off-grid areas,” the President said.

“This pursuit emphasizes how our nationwide electrification thrust is essential in the implementation of crucial government programs and projects, especially now that we are moving fast forward with our national infrastructure development agenda,” he added.

President Duterte also led the ceremonial switch-on of the hybrid solar power plant together with Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ako Bicol Rep. and SUWECO Major Stockholder Elizaldy Co, and SUWECO Chief Executive Officer Mylene Co.

Since assuming office, it has been the Duterte administration’s policy to safeguard the environment for the well-being of future generations of Filipinos. President Duterte hopes that with the inauguration of the new power facility, SUWECO will continue to introduce technological breakthroughs and advancements to provide cleaner, reliable, and affordable power generation in the country.

Aerial photo shows the 7.5-MWp Tumingad Solar Power Project located in Odiongan, Romblon. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led its inauguration on August 21, 2019. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The project is expected to complement the government’s aim to fast track the development of renewable energy sources in the country and, in the process, reduce the nation’s dependence on traditional energy sources, such as coal, the Chief Executive said.

And through the groundbreaking of the hybrid solar power project, the President said he is confident that other energy-related organizations will follow SUWECO’s good example.

The President also noted that the initiative highlighted the importance of having environmentally compliant power plants that prevent further environmental damage and cut emissions of harmful chemicals.

At the same time, he encouraged the people to renew their commitment in upholding their stewardship for the environment and the promotion of what is best for its welfare and protection. 

“As we look ahead with optimism, I urge every Filipino to demonstrate solidarity in our shared goal of building a stronger and more sustainable society for all,” he said.

During his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July, the President called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate the development of renewable energy resources to reduce the country’s dependence on traditional energy sources.

The 7.5MWp Tumingad Solar Power Plant was developed by the SUWECO Tablas Energy Corp. (STEC), an affiliate of SUWECO. The construction of the power plant started in January 2018 and it will commence commercial operation in September.

With the solar power plant’s utilization, an estimated P180 million per annum will be saved from the universal charge-missionary electrification subsidy. It will also save 3,000,000 liters of fossil fuel per year with the carbon emission reduction of 6,567,344 kilograms per year.

The hybrid solar-diesel microgrid with battery will energize Tablas Island’s 43,400 households with the plant’s Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), a heat exchanger used in combined cycle power plant.

The exchanger recovers heat from expelled hot gases to drive a steam turbine that generates electricity.-PND

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