In an effort to step up its commitment to improve access to clean and affordable energy for far-flung and off-grid areas, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is deploying thousands of stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems. 

A total of 5,039 solar home systems (SHS) with a subsidy allocation of P153 million will be distributed and installed this year within the off-grid communities covered by five electric cooperatives (ECs). 

Five ECs were already given the green light to conduct competitive bidding for the procurement and installation of SHS units. 

Engr. Ernesto Silvano, Jr., acting manager of the NEA Total Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Department, said the five ECs were already given the green light to conduct competitive bidding for the procurement and installation of SHS units. 

“We hope to start the installation of solar home systems this year in off-grid areas,” Silvano said. 

These power distribution utilities are the Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BISELCO), Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO IV), Iloilo III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ILECO III), Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (COTELCO), and Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZANECO).

Of the 5,039 SHS units to be distributed and installed in off-grid communities, BISELCO has secured 1,200 SHS units; COTELCO, 1,063 units; ZANECO, 967 units; ILECO III, 931 units; and CASURECO IV, 878 SHS units.

Based on the NEA data, about 1,702 off-grid communities within the coverage areas of ECs are left without electricity connection as of February 2018. Of the total number, 142 off-grid areas are found in Luzon, 557 are in the Visayas, and 1,003 are in Mindanao.

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