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Microgrids, solar pushed to bring electricity to rural areas

/ 05:36 AM September 19, 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is readying a policy to push microgrid and solar home systems among power cooperatives amid efforts to fast-track electrification in far-flung villages across the country.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the agency was preparing such a policy that would be presented next month to the 121 electric cooperatives under NEA management.

“Electric cooperatives should fast-track electrification and should open up through installation of microgrids, allowing private distribution utilities should they be interested to energize an area, as well as maximizing solar home system and access to sustainable energy program,” Masongsong said.

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NEA is seeking a P4.9-billion budget for 2018, the bulk of which is intended to bankroll long- and short-term loans for the capital expenditure requirements of the cooperatives as well as other power distribution projects.

During the past administration, the NEA completed the electrification of 32,441 sitios —a district in a barangay— under the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP).

Masongsong earlier said the agency intended to bring electricity to 2,410 sitios in 2017 alone and an additional 1,800 sitios in 2018.

Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings earlier urged communities of consumers to form cooperatives that would generate electricity, saying such a business model could be key in helping eradicate poverty.

The solar panel manufacturer said in a statement it was in discussions with various communities to put up “solar cooperatives,” which could produce electricity at a lower cost and greater reliability than existing power cooperatives.

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TAGS: Business, electricity, microgrid, National Electrification Administration, News
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