A 20-megawatt solar energy farm in Currimao, Ilocos Norte seated on 24-hectare forestland. (PNA file photo) 

TACLOBAN CITY – The two electric cooperatives in Samar province will get additional power supply through a grant for the construction of solar power plants funded by the European Union (EU).

The solar power plants for Samar Electric Cooperative (Samelco) I in Calbayog City and Samelco II in Paranas town are funded by the EU under the Access to Sustainable Energy Program - Rural Network Solar managed by the World Bank, Samelco 1 information officer, Jane Custodio, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Each cooperative gets a PHP1 million grant to build the plant.

The two electric cooperatives are among the six power distribution cooperatives in the country that are recipients of the EU grant.

The 1-megawatt solar power plant for Samelco I will rise within the 1.5-hectare property located beside their office in Carayman village in Calbayog City.

For Samelco II, the 1-megawatt solar power plant will be constructed near the electric cooperative compound in Paranas town.

“Since this is a grid-tied plant, power will not pass through NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) transmission line. This will somewhat help in lowering the rates. The cost of the project will not be recovered from consumers since this is a grant project,” Custodio said.

The solar power plant will also enhance the capacity of the Samelco I power supply and ensure grid stability.

The electric cooperative has 79,931 power consumers covering one city and six towns.

They also serve three towns that are off the grid with electricity supplied through diesel power plants.

Samelco II General Manager Joey Talon said in a statement they are grateful to the National Power Corp. and World Bank for choosing their electric cooperative as one of the recipients of the grant in the country.

“The 1-megawatt solar power source facility will benefit the member-consumer-owners as this will somewhat reduce the power rate,” Talon said.

The cooperative has more than 90,000 consumers.

The Department of Energy encourages all electric cooperatives to infuse renewable energy resources in their system under the Renewable Energy Act, which states that all stakeholders in the electric power industry would continue to work for the growth of the renewable energy industry of the country. (PNA)