Reading Time: 3 minutes
The European Union (EU), is now powering additional 30,500 Mindanao homes with solar home systems in addition to the 10,000 homes that were already installed since the program’s inception in 2019.
The EU released a statement stating that the solar home systems (SHS) units were officially handed over to the beneficiaries of five electric cooperatives in Sultan Kudarat, Bukidnon, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and South Cotabato.
This project was made possible by a grant of PHP1.06 billion. It is part of the larger EU’s 3.83 billion Access to Sustainable Energy Programme.
The SHS package contains a 50-watt peak panel, a charger with lithium-ion battery batteries capable of powering at least four LED bulbs, as well as a radio and torchlight. There are also USB ports to charge mobile devices.
Napocor, the ASEP’s implementation agency, was responsible for bulk procurement, delivery and installation of these SHS units to households in the franchise areas of Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative Inc., Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative Inc., South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc., Cotabato Electric Cooperative Inc and Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc.
These electric cooperatives have SHS units that are used for connection, billing, collection, operation as well as maintenance.
“With the formal turnover of the SHS equipment, the beneficiary households now become member-consumer-owner of the electric cooperatives and will have the same rights and obligations as those connected in the electric cooperatives’ distribution system,” it said.
Melchor Ridulme, Napocor officer in charge, thanked the World Bank & the EU for their support and credited the project with inspiring the Philippine government to distribute SHS units within its small power utilities groups using government funds.
Ridulme stated that the project was a success in many ways. He said, “We have provided safe, clean, and sustainable energy to isolated households in these regions and have increased photovoltaic tech talents through professional training for our electric cooperatives.”
Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in the Philippines, stated that the EU is committed to supporting the Philippines’ efforts to promote renewable energy and increase energy access.
Wagner stated, “We are proud that we have funded this action that reached vulnerable communities directly, providing an affordable solution to a fundamental need like access to electricity.”
Luc Veron, the EU Ambassador to the Philippines, made a four-day trip to Siargao in August to provide humanitarian assistance and development assistance to residents on the island.
This was Veron’s fourth outreach mission to the country, and it came 8 months after Typhoon Odette.