Napocor sees 2 hybrid facilities operational this year

THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) said it hopes to complete two hybrid facilities in Cuaming, Bohol and Palumbanes Island, Catanduanes province, by the end of 2022.

“Apart from hybridization, Napocor included solar home systems, photovoltaic (PV) mainstreaming, and wind resource assessment (WRA) in its programs,” Melchor P. Ridulme, Napocor officer-in-charge, said in an e-mail on Sept. 1.

Mr. Ridulme said that Napocor’s programs are in line with policies outlined by Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla seeking to increase the share of renewable energy in the power mix.

Off-grid areas are typically oil-fired or run-on diesel, to which the industry is attaching renewable technologies like solar or wind to make them hybrid systems.

In the context of discussing a facility in Limasawa, Southern Leyte, Mr. Ridulme said hybrids “reduce our dependency on fuel, minimize carbon emissions, and lower generation costs.”

Napocor’s Limasawa photovoltaic power plant, a solar-diesel hybrid facility, started operations in 2018.

“Since the hybrid system began operating, there had been a reduction in the cost of electricity by an average of 97 centavos per kilowatt-hour and recorded fuel savings of about 31,000 liters of diesel with an estimated amount of P970,000,” he said.

Napocor is also targeting to deploy around 933 solar home systems in Maconacon and Divilacan, Isabela and another 1,706 such systems in Masbate, Bohol, Dinagat, Sulu and Basilan.

In August, Mr. Lotilla said that the Department of Energy is looking to expand hybrid systems to end off-grid areas’ dependence on imported fuel.

The National Electrification Administration has ordered power cooperatives to tap more renewable energy to hybridize their generating capacity. — Ashley Erika O. Jose