SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 8 November 2019 - Singapore-based WEnergy Global Pte Ltd, a developer and operator of renewable power plants in Asean, said a group comprising its venture partners will fund US$20 million in equity into four new energy projects in the Philippines. These renewable energy plants will come onstream within two years.
The new projects will be designed alike the Sabang Renewable Energy Microgrid (SREC) Project in Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. SREC was just commissioned.
The Sabang project was conceptualised in 2013 when the Philippine government was looking for solutions to overcome the challenge of insufficient power supply and poor power transmission. Give the vastness of the country, a fundamental problem was the lack of economies of scale in constructing power plants. WEnergy Global led the design and development of the project, and now operates the Sabang plant jointly with its Philippine partners, Gigawatt Power Inc. and Vivant Energy Corporation.
This Sabang plant, now the largest off-grid electrification plant in Asean, combines solar PV (1.4 MWp), diesel generation (1.2 MW) and 2.4 MWh battery storage to deliver electricity across a 14-km distribution network to 700 residents and commercial establishments. On average, this power plant will have 60% solar PV energy in the mix in its first few years of operation.
Mr Atem S. Ramsundersingh, CEO of WEnergy Global, said: "The fundamentals of WEnergy Global are centred on bringing sustainable renewable energy, the most cost-efficient solution, to off-grid or island communities, off-grid industrial estates and new townships ... (our) answer is to build, own and operate smart micro-grids for off-grid electrification, which most multilateral agencies are starting to embrace almost 7 years after the work done by us, while investment companies and mega power companies remain averse. The commissioning of the Sabang plant today is a fruition of this goal and how it can be replicated quickly across to other parts of Southeast Asia."
Philippine Secretary of the Department of Energy Mr Alfonso G. Cusi, who was present at the commissioning, said: "We need more decentralised energy systems through the private sector to end energy poverty and meet the President's mandate to energize all Barangays and households by 2022. DOE encourages RE-Hybrids in rural off-grid areas and encourages companies to reduce fuel-based power and reduce subsidies for fuels. SREC is an example of that. We are changing our circulars to enable fuel-subsidy reductions."
In January 2019, WEnergy Global entered into a partnership with ICMG Partners Pte Ltd and Greenway Grid Global (GGG) Pte Ltd, an investment entity of Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Corporation PowerGrid Inc (TEPCO-PG). The three entities set up CleanGrid Partners Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based investment entity with an initial commitment of US$60 million for project development and equity financing.
Looking ahead, WEnergy Global's investment linked entity -- CleanGrid Partners Pte Ltd -- will aim to seal and sign deals with close to 15 local authorities in the Philippines to plan, build and operate microgrid projects in their respective jurisdictions.
The cooperation with TEPCO-PG and ICMG Partners will bring in seasoned expertise and excellence to solutions that can withstand natural disasters and compatible with business models that contribute to innovation of policy and regulatory frameworks. Collaboration and joint ventures with local business partners will bring in local knowledge and relations that are essential in building a network of decentralised and democratised electrification systems.