Enfinity backs use of solar hybrids to solve power supply shortage in SPUG areas

By Juzel L. Danganan

MANILA, July 28 (PNA) – Enfinity Philippines, a subsidiary of Belgian-firm Enfinity Corp., supports the Department of Energy (DOE) proposal of using solar hybrids to solve the power supply shortage in Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas, which is operated by the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

In a statement Tuesday, William Ruccius, business development director for Enfinity Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd., said “there is a vast potential for solar hybrid deployment along SPUG areas.”

He noted 280 SPUG power plants whose capacities range from 0.04 megawatt (MW) to 10 MW, were being re-powered by expensive diesel-fired power facilities. These power plants are found in off-grid areas.

Ruccius also said the true generation cost in the areas varies from Php 14 to Php 45 per kilowatthour (kWh), while power is only available from eight to 16 hours a day.

The company added the subsidy, which is paid through the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME), will likely decrease with the tapping of solar-hybrid power plants and battery storage technology. It is paid customers connected to the grid.

However, Ruccius stressed that l commercial and market risk issues should be addressed in the regulatory and policy frameworks of the industry – to make the hybrid technology becomes viable.

He also said some electric cooperatives had been saddled with credit-worthiness predicament.

Ruccius cited countries in the Asia Pacific have similar hybrid-power opportunities, such as Guam, Indonesia and other island countries.

Enfinity Corp. is a global renewable energy developer, with solar and wind projects in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America. (PNA)