Solar Energy for Mindanao

Monday, September 05, 2011

I just attended Cepalco's Solar Power Awareness last Saturday at the Dynasty Court Hotel. The aim of that meeting was to educate us on the current Mindanao capacity shortage problem, how to address the shortage problem and importance as well as benefits of solar energy in Mindanao.


Engineer Celio Sumaoy did pretty will in explaining to us the Solar Photovoltaic 101 without making us nosebleeding on the technical terms. We really did understand solar photovoltaic technology after.
So here is my summary on the conference.
Power demand in Mindanao is continuously increasing that even the power reserves can no longer sustain the demand. Thus when one of the National Power Corporation’s (NPC) stop functioning National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will demand Cepalco for curtailment, meaning some customers will experience block outs anytime. And despite of the heavy rains nowadays, this demand is still in red alert and needs a complement. This is the main reason why Cepalco sort out to renewable energy technology to help address the demand. As of the moment there are renewable energy technologies already tested and utilized in every parts of the country as seen in the image below.
Hydro plants is currently the main source of power here in Mindanao. Iligan and Cagayan de Oro has the biggest plants so far. The biggest power load is in Davao and second is General Santos. Cagayan de Oro's load is actually half of Davao only.
Cepalco have already established a solar plant in Indahag, Cagayan de Oro in 2004 which was ranked 54 in the worlds most largest solar plant. (Personally, this knowledge was new to me.) A lot of students from all over the country has visited the solar plant already. And this Saturday bloggers will also have its 2nd tour there.
Solar Power Plant in CDO Photo by Rob Bana

Why solar energy for Mindanao is important?
  • Solar energy is the most simple technology on renewable energy since it only utilizes the sun to gain electricity. It can come from the suns heat or the suns light. Every 1 megawatt of solar energy can already provide power to 1.5 hectares land.
  • It is abundant anywhere in the country.
  • Compared to fossil fuels are finite and dwindling.
  • Solar can supply the worlds total energy requirement for the next hundred of years.
  • It is not a fancy technology.
    The accumulated installed capacity from year 2000 - 2010 is doubled every year, 2010 - 39.6 gigawatts.
  • The installed cost is declining.
    However, we must not wait because there is no local supply for the materials and we need to impot. It is also good to start solar energy as early as now to cover financing and gain required experience to lower system cost.
  • Consumers pay the Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All)
    The advantage of solar energy Mindanao is that the overall cost is divided throughout the overall Philippines electric consumers, meaning not only the Mindanaoan consumers will paid in the tarriff but also Visayas and Luzon. This is fair enough since I just learn that under the Renewable Energy Law. For more info read it here; Mindanao Solar Capacity Development.
  • Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All) trend is going down over the years.
  • Solar panels may last for more than 30 years.
  • Solar energy technology is less maintenance and low operating cost.

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2 comments

  1. I hope that happens for Mindanao soon. It would really help the environment.

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  2. The future is indeed bright for solar energy as new solar nanotechnology is close to creating solar platforms that boggle the mind.

    solar panels

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