State-run National Power Corp. plans to build within this year five diesel-fed power facilities that will supply electricity to five remote and off-grid areas in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Bohol.
The diesel plants are targeted to generate 100 kilowatts or below, enough to serve the power demand of hundreds of households in each area, according to Napocor senior vice president Pio J. Benavidez.
Benavidez said the power plants, which would be put up in the areas where Napocor’s Small Power Utilities Group operated, might require investments of anywhere between P5 million and P6 million each.
“We target to put up around four to five [facilities] this year. We have awarded the contracts for the three facilities, all of which will be running on diesel. The plants will have small capacities because these will serve the small islands, which currently do not have access to electricity,” Benavidez explained.
Napocor SPUG held on Wednesday the groundbreaking for the first of the five facilities—a 15-kW diesel-fed power plant that will serve 147 households in Barangay Atulayan, Sagnay, Caramoram, Camarines Sur.
Groundbreaking ceremonies will also be held for the 20-kW facility that will serve 249 households in Barangay Toytoy, Palumbanes Island, Catanduanes, and the 60-kW diesel plant that will serve 753 households in Barangay Cabul-an, Buenavista, Bohol. Combined, the first three facilities will have a total capacity of 95 kW, which will benefit 1,149 households with six hours of electricity a day.
For this year alone, Napocor will need as much as P18 billion in subsidies, mostly to fund the existing operations of the Small Power Utilities Group and to ensure stable supply in the off-grid areas. Of this amount, however, only P14 billion has been secured.
Napocor operates and maintains 232 small power-generating units with a total generated capacity of about 175 MW, serving 214 island and isolated grids and providing electricity to 47 customers consisting of 39 electric cooperatives, seven local government units and one multipurpose cooperative.