Aquatera's project development company visits its target beneficiary of a renewable energy hybrid system in the Philippines

August 8th 2019

Oceantera, a joint renewable energy project development company between Aquatera and Philippine-based OceanPixel, conducted a site visit to San Antonio, Island of Dalupiri, Northern Samar, Philippines in order to progress its renewable energy hybrid system pilot project which is being developed in partnership with Poseidon Renewable Energy Corporation.  Oceantera envisions San Antonio to become the world's first off-grid island to benefit from a renewable energy hybrid system with tidal stream energy converter, solar PV, energy storage, and smart energy management system and serve as a model to other off-grid areas in the Philippines and wider region for island sustainable development.

During the visit, the team undertook ocular inspection, infrastructure assessment, and held stakeholder meetings in San Antonio.  They met with the officials and staff of the local energy provider National Power Corporation (NPC) San Antonio Diesel Power Plant (DPP), the distribution utility or electric cooperative Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (NORSAMELCO), and the Municipal Government headed by then-mayor Rudy Bagiuoso.  All agencies expressed their full support for Oceantera’s initiative.  The team also carried out household and business surveys to better understand local energy demand, quality and status of existing supply and services.  Local residents gave the team a warm welcome and showed active cooperation.

Oceantera also visited the NPC DPP facility and surveyed NORSAMELCO’s distribution grid in San Antonio.  They were able to map and assess the current condition of the existing energy generation and distribution infrastructure on the island, providing critical data to inform detailed project design and modelling activities. 

San Antonio is one of Oceantera’s priority sites for renewable energy hybrid system development as the community is heavily reliant on diesel power generation which is very expensive and contributes to national carbon dioxide emissions.  San Antonio is an off-grid area where the government subsidises energy generation and distribution through the Missionary Electrification Program.

The San Antonio Project is a ground-breaking initiative bringing together renewable energy generation to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy to San Antonio and support sustainable economic and social community development in the wider region.  It will combine tidal energy converter and onshore solar PV technology with an energy storage system and existing grid infrastructure, to provide 24-7 electricity to local residents and businesses, at a lower rate than the current true cost of generation.

After seeing the actual condition in the island, the team came away from the site visit fully convinced that this project will not only help the community but will also contribute immensely to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  By improving access and reliability to affordable power from local supply, the RE hybrid system will increase energy security which will lead to food security through enabling reliable cold storage for food (particularly caught fish) for use during poor and extreme weather.  It will also provide disaster resilience as tidal energy resource is little affected by weather and climate and generation technology is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, it will support climate change adaptation through a reduction in reliance on diesel, protecting the community from future fuel price increases.

The site visit was conducted last April headed by Oceantera Directors Ian Hutchison and Marianne Eleanor Catanyag, supported by Weslie Capute of Lux Illumina Verde Energy Solutions and local guides Serge Creon Ballado and Mark David Lagrimas.