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  • Jonas Dorega

Harnessing the Sun: UNIDO's Solar Hybrid Micro-Grid Project Boosts Livelihood of 15,000 Seaweed Farmers in Tawi-tawi

Updated: Apr 1


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), is implementing the Renewable Energy Technology to Increase the Value-Added of Seaweeds in Tawi-Tawi (RETS) Project funded by the European Union (EU), under the Philippine Department of Energy’s (DOE) Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP). ​


Solar Power Plants to Empower Communities:   Two power plants were constructed to increase and extend the availability of electricity to over 15,000 seaweed farmers – a 1MW solar PV system with 824KWH lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) in Sitangkai and a 648KW solar PV system with 618KWH lithium-ion ESS in Sibutu. The solar and diesel generator hybrid micro-grids are designed to produce power at 35% solar penetration.​

 


648 kWp Solar PV System With 618 kWh Lithium-Ion ESS 2 in Sibutu, Tawi - Tawi

 

Seaweed Farming: A Climate-Friendly Livelihood:  The Philippines is considered as one of the highest seaweed producing countries in the world.  Seaweed farming is a carbon negative practice (removes CO2), with a high potential for climate change mitigation.  Since it is easy to start, seaweed farming has been frequently developed as an alternative livelihood for fishing communities to improve economic conditions and reduce fishing pressure on overexploited resources.​


Simple Yet Impactful Farming: Farming seaweeds is simple.  A “cutting” is tied to a nylon line stretched between two wooden stakes secured to the seabed. A float, usually made of discarded empty plastic bottles or cut styropor, is tied to the lines and serve to buoy the lines.  The crops are harvested after only 45 days. ​


1MW solar PV system with 824KWH lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) - Microgrid in Tawi - Tawi
1MW solar PV system with 824KWH lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) - Microgrid in Sitangkai, Tawi - Tawi

Collaborative Implementation: The project is implemented by One Renewable for Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) in close coordination with Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative Inc. (TAWELCO), Mindanao State University (MSU) Tawi-Tawi, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-ARMM, the Provincial Local Government Unit of Tawi-Tawi (PLGU) and Association of Isolated Electric Cooperatives Missionary Green Energy Corp. (AIEC MGEC), through its Joint Venture partnership with Island Light and Water Energy Development Corporation (ILAW).​



For a closer look at the RETS Project, watch the MinDA Feature here.


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