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Solar project to light rural
«Le plus grand projet "simple" d'énergie
solaire dans le monde»...
Electricity from solar
power will soon reach the homes of about 400,000 rural folk in Mindanao
that are not yet connected to any power lines.
This will be accomplished with what has been described
as the largest single solar energy project in the world. This will be funded
with a P2.4-billion aid from Spain.
The governments of Spain and the Philippines and
an expert in generating electricity from the rays of the sun, BP Solar,
have signed an agreement that will bring power to remote villages in Mindanao
where about one-third of the nationís rural poor live.
The project was brought to the region through Agrarian
Reform Secretary Hernani Braganza, who said that the first phase of the
project will light the homes of 5,500 families in 70 villages.
Lighting homes away from the National Power Corp.ís
main electric grids has been found too expensive, Braganza explained. Renewable
energy, like solar power, has been pro! ven more efficient. The prohibitive
cost of building power lines and the difficulty of transporting fuel for
generators to remote areas makes solar power an ideal solution.
The $48 million (about P2.4 billion) contract, the
largest solar energy project in the country to date, is finance by the
Spanish government. It will be implemented in two phases, the first of
which is scheduled to begin in September.
Twenty-five irrigation systems and 97 clean drinking
water and distribution systems will also be powered during the first phase.
Sixty-eight schools and community centers and 35 health clinics will be
able to turn on lights for the first time.
The project will install 35 new power supply systems
to help generate income in the remote communities.
The second phase will provide each of 44 additional
agrarian reform communities with a solar-powered health clinic, plus 9,500
homes with solar lighting systems.
The project includes managemen! t and installation,
social preparation, community development and trai ning for hundreds of
The solar systems in the Philippines will reduce
the dependence of villages on non-renewable energy sources like oil and
coal. This will also slow down deforestation, as less wood will be cut
to meet daily needs.