TACLOBAN CITY — Residents of Higatangan Island in Naval, Biliran will soon experience a 24-hour uninterrupted power supply with the operation of a microgrid project this month.

The equipment needed for the project to take off arrived in Naval town last week of December, but transporting was delayed due to Tropical Depression Usman, which crossed central Philippines before New Year, according to the Biliran Electric Cooperative (BILECO).

The PHP15-million equipment was donated by the South Korean government and Korean firm ELT Co., Ltd.

The local electric cooperative had put up a PHP7-million counterpart for the purchase of a lot, site preparation, and distribution line construction, BILECO general manager Gerardo Oledan said in a phone interview on Friday.

The project is composed of photovoltaic panels, power conditioning system, diesel generator and energy storage system. With this development, BILECO could supply power to the entire island for 24 hours.

The target of the project’s turnover and start of operation has been set before the end of January.

“Once installation is completed at the prepared site in Higatangan island, the Koreans will do the testing and commissioning and system training to BILECO technical personnel,” Oledan said.

Higatangan Island is the second beneficiary of a microgrid project from South Korea after Romblon.

The local government unit of Naval sees the project as boosting the island’s tourism, considered as the main attraction in the capital town of Biliran province.

Higatangan is famous for its shifting sandbar that changes its direction every two months. The island also features white sand beaches, rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, coral garden, and rock formations.

In 2017, the Naval local government launched the Higatangan Summer Festival that had drawn more than 4,000 tourists coming from the region and some parts of Luzon and Visayas in the past two years.

In April last year, the local government unveiled the underwater chapel named “Capilla del Mar”, featuring a 12-foot cross and eight benches, symbolizing the eight towns of Biliran province. (PNA)



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