In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the private sector to contribute to ending energy poverty in the Philippines, “Solar Para Sa Bayan” is bringing 24/7 power to 12 towns for the first time in their history.
This is in line with plans by Malacanang to issue an Executive Order to encourage private investment in rural electrification. The company is now completing hybrid mini grids to deliver electricity at a lower cost to consumers, and at zero cost to the government, in towns that have never before received adequate electric service.
An estimated 200,000 Filipinos will benefit from these projects, in provinces including Mindoro, Palawan, Masbate, Cagayan, and Aurora, marking the first time a private company will energize this many households at zero cost to the government.
“Our aim is not to make the most profit, but to help the greatest number of our fellow Filipinos. We hope all other stakeholders will likewise support such initiatives for the DOE to achieve its vision of ending energy poverty by 2022,” said Solar Para Sa Bayan founder Leandro Leviste.
In March 2018, Solar Para Sa Bayan installed Southeast Asia’s largest Solar-Battery Minigrid for Paluan, Mindoro, bringing 24/7 power for the first time in the town’s history. The project is the first in Asia to feature Powerpacks from Tesla, a leading supplier of batteries and electric vehicles.
The company now has mini grids operating in several provinces, and has received emails from thousands of Filipinos requesting to bring reliable electricity to their own towns.
“It is sad to learn of towns where development has been hindered by the lack of reliable electricity.
We hope our projects, in towns such as Lubang, Dumaran, Claveria, Calayan, and Dingalan will help communities reach their full potential, and we are working overtime to ensure every town in the Philippines will enjoy the best service at the lowest cost as soon as possible,” said Leviste.
For years, the government and foreign development agencies have subsidized rural electrification efforts, but the Department of Energy estimates that over 2.3 million Filipino households still remain without electricity, while many more experience regular blackouts and among the highest rates in Asia. The Department of Education notes that over 7,000 of its own schools lack electricity.
Solar Para Sa Bayan was founded by Leviste, also the founder of Solar Philippines, to support the Department of Energy’s vision to end energy poverty in the Philippines by 2022.