TACLOBAN CITY – Two electric cooperatives in Samar province were recipients of a grant from the European Union (EU) under the Access to Sustainable Energy Program – Rural Network Solar (ASEP-RNS) to construct solar power plants.

Representatives from the Samar I Electric Cooperative lead in the groundbreaking of a solar power facility funded by European Union in Paranas town on March 14. (Photo Courtesy)

Under the $1.17 million grant, a one-megawatt solar power facility will be constructed each by the Samar Electric Cooperative (Samelco) I and the Samar Electric Cooperative (Samelco) II.

The two Samar-based electric cooperatives are among the six power cooperatives which were identified under the EU grant.

The solar power plant for Samelco 1 will be constructed within the 1.5-hectare lot located beside their office in Barangay Carayman in Calbayog City while in Samelco II, the solar power plant is to be constructed at the 1.5-hectare property of the electric cooperative in Paranas town.

Samelco I serves the city of Calbayog and 11 towns while Samelco II serves the city of Catbalogan and 15 municipalities in the second district of the province.

Samelco I has 79,931 member-consumers while Samelco II has 99,750 member-consumers.

The construction of the facilities is expected to be completed by June of this year as the ground-breaking was held on March 14.

Among those who graced the groundbreaking were National Power Corporation vice president, Atty. Rogel Teves, and project director, Godofredo Magpoc, Jr.

“Since this is a grid-tied, power will not pass through NGCP/Transmission line, this will somewhat help in lowering the rates. Power generated from this will not be recovered to the consumers since this is a grant, project,” Jane Custodio, Samelco 1 information officer, said.

The solar power plant will also somewhat enhance the capacity of Samelco 1’s power supply and ensure grid stability.

Samelco II general manager Joey Talon, for his part, expressed his heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the Napocor and World Bank for choosing their cooperative as one of the recipients of the said grant.

“Th(is will) benefit the member-consumer-owners as this will somewhat reduce the power rate,” GM Talon said.