TeaM Energy partners with Philippine Government to energize
3,400 Remote Quezon Households via Solar Power
20 January 2012
TeaM Energy Foundation Inc. (TEFI) and the Philippine government, through the Department of Energy (DoE) have successfully completed the electrification of 3,400 homes in off-grid areas in one of the remotest places in the country using solar energy.
In simple switch-on ceremonies held today, January 20, 2012, at the Rizal Hall, Malacanang Palace, officials led by President Benigno S. Aquino III, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, TeaM Energy President & CEO Federico E. Puno and TEFI Executive Director Roderick de Castro, marked the 100% electrification of barangays in the remote Polilio Islands in Quezon Province. This benefits a total of 3,400 households from the Municipalities of Burdeos, Patnanungan, and Panukalan, through solar energy. This milestone in rural electrification is considered the first in the Philippines and is seen as a successful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) undertaking of the Aquino administration.
Puno said that the completion of this initiative has paved the way for local economic development and increased livelihood and income opportunities for beneficiary barangays. “It is an honor for TeaM Energy, through TEFI to partner with the Philippine government to complete this project which brings the benefits of electricity to thousands of residents in the Polilio Group of Islands. We are fully supportive of government’s efforts to improve the lives of Filipinos by helping energize the most remote barangays in our country,” he said.
The Household Electrification Assistance through Renewable Technology and Social preparation for the Upliftment of lives (HEART & SOUL) is an off-grid electrification project of TEFI using stand-alone solar home systems. This project is funded by the government through the DoE, and is also part of the government’s direction to attain 90% sitio household electrification in the Philippines by 2017.
Utilizing a substantial grant from the DOE, TEFI, the corporate social responsibility arm of TeaM Energy, made possible the installation of solar home systems in the three municipalities in Polilio Island, namely Burdeos, Panukulan and Patnanungan. These systems are facilitated and managed by Renewable Energy and Community Development Associations (RECDAs) formed prior to the introduction of the solar energy systems in the area.
The last batches to be completed were four barangays in Burdeous namely Bonifacio, Rizal, Carlagan and Mabini and one barangay in Barangay Amaga, Patnanungan.
These barangays are considered among the most inaccessible places in the country, especially during the wet months when giant waves pummel motorized outrigger boats that are the only means of transport to connect them to the Quezon mainland.
In the past, small genset operators provided electric services in the area but had proved unsustainable given the rising cost of diesel fuel. Aside from being expensive, service was oftentimes unreliable.
TEFI Executive Director de Castro observed that farmers and fishermen now enjoy longer productive hours as a result of access to electricity as provided by the project. Others, he said, have begun to set-up rural micro-businesses that would not have been possible without electricity. “Slowly we are seeing an economic transformation take place in Polilio,” he said.
TEFI also spent over Php20 million to contract local NGOs and do ground work themselves on community profiling, organizing and assessment activities. It also funded capacity-building activities and social entrepreneurship ventures for the RECDAS. As an add-on, and in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management TEAM Energy Center for Bridging Societal Divides, values formation training formed a major part of the intervention.
TEFI has helped energize over 1,500 households nationwide benefitting over 300,000 families since it began its rural electrification program in 2001. At a cost of Php1.5B, this is the biggest CSR program ever undertaken by a private organization. TeaM Energy is a partnership between noted Japanese firms Tokyo Electric Power Company and Marubeni Corporation. It is one of the largest Independent Power Producers in the Country with more than 2,000 megawatts of installed generating capacity nationwide. It operates two clean coal facilities. The 735 MW Pagbilao Power Station in Quezon Province and the 1200 MW Sual Power Station in Pangasinan. It also has a 20% stake in the 1200 MW natural gas-fired plant in Ilijan, Batangas.