Ayala’s latest social venture brings the benefits of solar energy to one of the most far-flung islands of the Philippines
TAWI-TAWI – Far from commercial grids and power lines, the island of Tawi-Tawi sits at the southernmost part of the Philippines. In this remote province, only 30% of the population has access to electricity, which is predominantly sourced from diesel generators. Due to the unstable electric supply, the island experiences rolling blackouts that stunt progress and slow down the delivery of essential services, such as health and education. For the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi—whose vision is to be a center of excellence in Fisheries, Marine and Maritime Science and Engineering, and Oceanography— this means that the quality of their educational program is undermined and that the productivity of their students is often disrupted.
Working with MSU, AC Energy has partnered with Kennedy Renewable + Technology Corp. to address the power shortage and provide the school with solar panels. AC Energy, whose recent focus in the development of renewable energy, provided technical and financial support, with Kennedy acting as the main developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project. Seven campus buildings were outfitted with solar panels, hybrid inverters and batteries, providing not only 141kW capacity to the university, but also energy storage capability. The system works in tandem with the local power supply, thereby reducing the impact of electrical disruptions and lowering the school’s cost of electricity.
“The successful launch of this project highlights the reality of conglomerates successfully working with small companies that labor under challenging circumstances to promote sustainable development. This installation is a living, although modest, testament of how organizations like AC Energy and Kennedy Renewable + Technology Corp. solve real problems of power shortages that affect critical institutions in remote areas. Many more projects like this will help advance the cause of energy derived from sources that are replenished by nature,” said Dr. Philip Ella Juico, Chairman of Kennedy Renewable + Technology Corp.
This renewable source of power enhances MSU’s role, as the only university in the province, in providing quality education despite the inefficiencies in the current local power situation. In these far-flung areas, access to electricity is directly linked to access to education. As the island’s sole institution for higher education, MSU Tawi-Tawi is now closer to its goal of producing experts in fisheries and agriculture, which are key drivers of their local industry. AC Energy’s President & CEO, Eric T. Francia added “Our company sees great value in not only providing electricity to far-flung regions of our country, but also to critical institutions of growth like MSU. Partnering with Kennedy Renewable and MSU to stabilize their campus’ power supply directly impacts the quality of education that the school’s students will receive. We are excited about the possibilities energy can provide—especially to the education of our future generation.”
AC Energy is one of the fastest growing businesses of Ayala Corporation with more than US$ 1 billion of invested and committed capital, with investments in renewable energy and conventional power.
AC Energy is positioned to exceed 2,000 MW of attributable generation capacity and scale up its renewable energy portfolio to over 1,000 MW by 2020.
AC Energy is expanding beyond the Philippines and expected to grow its presence in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian markets.
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