Chinese-funded solar power stations electrify remote Philippine villages
A man inspects photovoltaic generators at a village that is supported by the "Brighten Up" project in the province of Zambales, the Philippines. [Photo/Xinhua]
SAN MARCELINO, Philippines - Two Chinese-funded solar power stations were officially completed and handed over to Philippine authorities on Thursday to bring remote villagers electricity and opportunities.
The stations are the first fruit of the "Brighten Up" project, donated by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), is a charitable project presented by a Chinese firm in the Philippines.
Economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy Jiang Jianjun, Undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) Benito Ranque, and administrator of Philippine National Electrification Administration (NEA) Edgardo Masongsong, among other guests, witnessed the handover of the stations during the ceremony held in New Baliwet, a remote village in San Marcelino, Zambales province.
"Achieving the goal of poverty alleviation by providing electricity and information, this project brings the fruits of modern civilization to local people and improve their standard of living and education," Jiang said.
The SGCC also transferred the stations, located in Old and New Baliwet separately, to the Zambales II Electric Cooperative at the ceremony.
In return, children in Baliwet Elementary School performed dancing to express their gratitude at the ceremony.
"China is a true friend of the Philippines because you are giving happiness to the Filipinos, especially to the less-privileged people who live in the remote community," Ranque said.
"The project provides sustainable development by the renewable resources like solar to the local people, as well as long-term benefits," he said.
Due to its remoteness, no local power companies are willing to invest in Baliwet communities in the northern Philippines. The situation forced villagers to travel several kilometers to the town out of the mountain to charge their mobile phones.
"The benefit of this (Brighten Up) project is huge. It brought us electricity. Even the residents of the neighboring villagers moved here to be able to take advantage of the electricity," said villager Dionesto Esteban.
"The project will also help us to be more productive and for sure it will open up more opportunities for us," he added.
The power supply project, which broke the ground last January, uses solar micro-grid to provide centralized power with a power generation capacity of 76kW and a battery storage capacity of 432 kWh. It basically meets the daily needs of the villagers, according to SGCC Philippine office.
"Light is hope. The 'Brighten Up' project installs a solar panel system, capable of delivering power to some 1,000 residents including two elementary schools with over 100 students. The project is expected to lift the villagers out of poverty and a brighter future," said Shan Shewu, director general of SGCC Philippine Office.