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DOE, Japanese partners seek to turn Mindoro into showcase of power micro-grids

DOE, Japanese partners seek to turn Mindoro into showcase of power micro-grids

The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) are reviewing Mindoro’s power development plan in a bid to bring a stable supply of electricity to the province.

The review is a continuation of the power sector Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed by the DOE and METI in June 2018.

Mindoro is the seventh largest island in the Philippines with a total land area of 10,571 square kilometers and a population of about two million people.

Many communities remain without access to power, while those with electricity suffer from unreliable supply.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said providing “off-grid” areas with stable supply of electricity “remains a considerable challenge” to the government’s gaal of “total electrification.”

Mindoro is one of the island provinces that has been plagued with electricity shortage for decades.

Cusi said METI’s help would allow the DOE to prepare a “comprehensive study of the Mindoro grid” and the possibility of using so-called micro grids for a stable power supply.

“If everything goes well, Mindoro would serve as an electrification model for the rest of the off-grid islands in the Philippines,” Cusi said.

The DOE had requested technical assistance from METI and Japanese firm KPMG AZSA LLC to prepare an electric supply plan for Mindoro especially for the province’s poor villages and communities through a micro-grid system, which would combine sources like diesel plants, solar and wind power.

In 2018, METI, through KPMG AZSA LLC and another firm, NEWJEC Inc., held seminars and training programs on power operation and maintenance.

They sent specialists to gather information on the DOE’s initiatives on performance audits of power generation and distribution system facilities.

The Philippine DOE and its Japanese partners are optimistic about the signing of an agreement extending the cooperation between them. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)