Senator Win Gatchalian commended the Department of Energy’s launch of the competitive selection process (CSP) for microgrid systems providers (MGSP), making a substantial leap towards full electrification across the nation.
“We are confident that the development of microgrid systems in the country would significantly boost electrification efforts in rural communities that in turn would hopefully alleviate economic conditions in those areas,” said Gatchalian, author of Republic Act 11646 or the Microgrid Systems Act, which was signed into law in January last year.
The current status of electrification in the country stands at 96.17%. As of December 2022, a total of 879,232 households are still without electricity, according to a report released by the DOE based on the 2015 census.
In Luzon, electrification stands at 98.89 as 148,435 families or households are still without electricity. In the Visayas, electrification stands at 97.61% and 105,110 households still do not have electricity while in Mindanao, household electrification is at 88.12% with 625,687 households still lacking access to electricity.
To initiate the development of microgrid systems in the country, the energy department has already published an invitation for prospective investors to participate in the CSP.
Gatchalian said the Microgrid Systems Act mandates the energy department to declare the unserved and underserved areas for electrification and service by prospective microgrid systems. It is expected to pave the way for the entry of private sector investors to be accredited as microgrid service providers as they won’t be required to obtain waivers from incumbent distribution utilities.
“The government has undertaken various electrification programs over the past decades and yet, many communities still don’t get to enjoy the benefits and advantages of having electricity. With the imminent development of microgrid systems, we may see sooner than later the electrification of the entire country,” Gatchalian said.
According to the energy department, the winning MGSPs will be in charge of the construction, installation, maintenance, and operations of microgrid systems to provide electricity services around the clock for all existing and projected households in selected remote areas.