NEA deploys solar power systems in off–grid areas

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    The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is deploying stand-alone solar photovoltaic systems in far-flung and off-grid areas.

    The agency said that a total of 5,039 solar home systems (SHS) with a subsidy allocation of P153 million will be distributed and installed this year within the off-grid communities covered by five electric cooperatives (ECs).

    Ernesto Silvano, Jr., NEA’s acting manager for Total Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Department, expressed the five ECs were allowed to conduct competitive bidding for the procurement and installation of SHS units.

    Among the power distribution utilities involved in the said project are the Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BISELCO), Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO IV), Iloilo III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ILECO III), Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (COTELCO) and Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZANECO).

    Of the 5,039 SHS units to be distributed and installed in off-grid communities, BISELCO has secured 1,200 SHS units; COTELCO with 1,063 units; ZANECO with 967 units; ILECO III with 931 units; and CASURECO IV with 878 units.

    NEA said that as of February last year, there are still about 1,702 off-grid communities within the coverage areas of ECs that are left without electricity connection. Of the total number, 142 off-grid areas are found in Luzon, 557 are in the Visayas and 1,003 are in Mindanao.