THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) said it expects to achieve 100% electricity coverage for all areas it is responsible for in the next two years.
“By 2022, 24/7 na lahat ng areas. Ang problema kasi hindi naman sinasabi kung anong areas pa ang dapat lagyan ng kuryente (By 2022, we expect 24/7 service to all areas. The problem is that we have no complete picture of which areas still need power),” Napocor President and Chief Executive Office Pio J. Benavidez said in a chance interview.
He said the agency’s goal is to turn over to the private sector all of the power generation facilities that remain overseen by Napocor.
“It’s roughly 300 megawatts,” he said.
Mr. Benavidez said a proposed law on microgrids could make the turnover much faster. He was referring to a Senate bill on these energy systems now going through the scrutiny of the legislature’s technical working group.
“May mga technology na ngayon na pwede mong ibaba ang presyo, pasukan mo ng battery, pasukan mo ng solar — hybrid system (There are technologies that have the potential to lower prices, like hybrid systems using solar and batteries),” he said.
He said the private companies might be attracted to take over and bring down the cost of power generation to about P8 per kilowatt-hour from between P11 and P12 previously.
Under the proposed microgrid legislation, the Department of Energy will identify areas that are unserved by the franchise owner for turnover to other providers.
Mr. Benavidez has said that Napocor continues to step up in meeting the country’s growing power needs, and the developing technology in renewable energy.
Napocor is to synchronize its 120-kilowatt peak (kWp) solar installation with an energy storage system in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte to the local power grid.
Under its missionary electrification plan, Napocor identified 17 areas for hybridization with solar photovoltaic and battery capacity of 1.795 MWp and 1.620 MWh in 2020.
As mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, Napocor powers the off-grid islands through its small power utilities group, or SPUG, with plants serving 826,000 households. — Victor V. Saulon