Home » News » CHED NF Project team conducts survey in Pangan-an Island, Lapu-Lapu City; Revisiting the pioneer solar-powered island in the Philippines

CHED NF Project team conducts survey in Pangan-an Island, Lapu-Lapu City; Revisiting the pioneer solar-powered island in the Philippines

The CHED NF Team ride a motorized boat on their way to Pangan-an Island, Lapu-lapu City.

The group visits the Pangan-an Island Solar Power Plant during the load profiling survey.

Engr. Capute, one of the researchers, interviews one of the respondents of the survey.

Faculty researchers and graduate students of the School of Engineering of the University of San Carlos who are part of the CHED Newton Fund Institutional Links Project of CREST conducted a community and load profiling survey in Pangan-an Island in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last June 27-30, 2018.

This survey was conducted to develop a case study for energy access in islands and assess energy requirement as an approach for design and training. It also aimed to obtain a load demand profile of the island which is essential in pursuing design and optimization of an off-grid hybrid power system for the island. The unavailability of data to be used in generating a load demand profile was one of the motivation of the team in conducting the survey. The survey was also geared to characterize the island using the multidimensional analysis tool G-PESTLE (geographical, political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental).

The three-day survey gave the researchers a chance to visit the pioneer of solar-powered islands in the country. They also had the opportunity to see the situation of the solar power plant that is no longer operational, but serving as a reminder of the glory days of electricity in the island.

Community Information

Pangan-an Island is an island barangay of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. It can be reached via a 30-minute motorized boat ride from the port of Cordova, Cebu. As of 2015, the island has 405 households and a population of about 3,490. The main sources of income are fishing, ecotourism, and shell craft making for souvenir shops. Other families are also engaged in seashore gleaning, village store retailing, boat servicing, and livestock raising. The family income ranges from PhP 3,000- 5,000 (US$60-100) per month --- practically within the Philippine poverty line. Majority of the families in the village are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) — a flagship welfare program of the government.

Pangan-an Island was the first solar-powered island in the Philippines. In 1998, the Belgian government, in cooperation with the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lapu-Lapu City local government, installed an off-grid 45 kWp solar PV plant with energy storage. It was operated and maintained by a cooperative established by the residents of the island. However, in 2011, the energy storage system of the plant has deteriorated and has stopped functioning. Thus, it is no longer operational to date. Currently, the community uses a 32 kVA diesel generator to supply electricity from 6 pm until 10 pm. (Engr. Arben S. Vallente)