Some 125 pineapple farming households in Don Salvador Benedicto town will benefit from the solar energy facility installed through the Productive Uses of Renewable Energy (PURE) project of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its various partners.
In a ceremony on Friday morning, the P3.5-million project was turned over by officials led by DOE Visayas Field Office Director Russ Mark Gamallo, with Mayor Laurence Marxlen de la Cruz, to the Bago Integrated Solar Farmers Association (BISFA) in Purok Alindahawan, Barangay Bago.
“I hope this project will be sustained and properly [managed] as the people involved are now armed with the knowledge and technology on how to keep it operational,” Gamallo said.
The project, comprised of a four-kilowatt (kW) solar power system, a decorticating machine, a two-kW photovoltaic (PV) system, and the building housing the systems, was implemented by the DOE with the European Union-Supported Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (EU-ASEP) and Team Energy Foundation Inc. (TEFI).
The solar power facility in Don Salvador Benedicto is the fourth pilot project of EU-ASEP in coordination with the DOE and the first EU-ASEP project installed in the Visayas aimed at supporting the government’s efforts to offer solutions towards increasing access to electricity, integrating renewable energy on and off-grid, and promote energy efficiency.
Ceneco Providing Technical Support
The town is under the coverage area of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) headed by president Jojit Yap, who also witnessed the turnover rites.
“Ceneco will provide the necessary support for maintenance, repair and troubleshooting of the equipment,” Yap said.
The DOE and EU-ASEP will provide technical trainings to personnel of Ceneco and members of BISFA, respectively.
“Since the (area) cannot be reached by our power lines, the DOE through Household Electrification Program (HEP) powered the community with solar energy for their homes,” Yap added.
The DOE, EU-ASEP, and TEFI also installed a solar-powered vaccine refrigerator in neighboring Barangay Pinowayan.
“This will definitely boost the rural electrification program of Ceneco as the community will have free, clean and renewable energy,” Yap said.* (PNA)