Philippine Government Awards Contract for the Development of 8 New Microgrids

April 18, 2024
A consortium of three companies will build the hybrid microgrids in three off-grid areas of the country.

Nearly 4 million Filipino households are either unserved or underserved by the nation’s power grid. However, the country has just taken a big step in achieving its goal of fully electrifying those homes.

After concluding its first round of a competitive selection process, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) recently named the Maharlika Consortium a microgrid systems service provider.

The consortium will develop microgrids in eight unserved areas in the Cebu, Quezon and Palawan areas. The hybrid microgrid systems, which are expected to include solar, energy storage and diesel generators, must provide 24/7 electricity to the areas served.

They also must be operational within 18 months of the contract signing with National Power Corporation, the government-owned grid operator in the Philippines.

“The rates to be imposed in these areas will be subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission and will be provided with a subsidy under the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification for a period of 20 years,” according to a statement from the DOE.

Missionary electrification refers to off-grid regions where grid connectivity has been deemed unviable.

The award is the first in support of the country’s Microgrid Systems Act of 2022, more formally known as Republic Act No. 11646 or the Act of Promoting the Use of Microgrid Systems to Accelerate the Total Electrification of Unserved and Underserved Areas Nationwide.

Bids were due in mid-November 2023 and the Maharlika Consortium, which is comprised of Maharlika Clean Power Holdings, CleanGrid Partners and WEnergy Global, was the only bidder.

A second round of bidding is expected to be held within the next twelve months. 

Infrastructure challenges by nature

Considering the physical landscape of the Philippines, which is an archipelago made up of 7,461 islands, it’s perhaps not surprising that remote communities lack access to the grid and reliable electricity.

According to the Philippine DOE, more than 1.2 million households in the country, or 9% of the country’s population, have no access to electricity, distribution lines, individual home systems or a connection to a microgrid.

Another 2.7 million do not have reliable access to electricity on a 24/7 basis.

"Microgrids are a critical infrastructure for the electrification of our rural communities,” said Sen. Win Gatchalian, the principal author of the Microgrid Systems Act. He is encouraging the DOE to “further expedite the development of microgrids to help propel the electrification of unserved and underserved areas.”

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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