DA mulls dev’t of floating solar farms with Aboitiz group
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and SN Aboitiz Power are planning to develop floating solar farms to provide power to isolated fishing communities, especially those in the islands.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will meet with officials and engineers of SN Aboitiz on Monday to consider the establishment of floating solar farms.
To recall, SN Aboitiz Power has established the first floating solar farm in the Magat Dam in Isabela in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Piñol said the idea of a floating solar-power generating facility to provide electric power to remote fishing communities was discussed during the recent Management Committee Meeting of the DA in General Santos City.
Piñol directed Agriculture Undersecretary and BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona to form a technical team to determine if the floating solar farms could generate power for remote fishing communities to run ice-making equipment and cold storage facilities.
“This will provide immediate solution to the problem of fishermen who live in remote and isolated islands who have been asking for ice-making facilities so they could bring their catch to the market,” Piñol said.
Piñol also wants Gongona to find out if the floating solar farms could serve as “Payao” or Fish Aggregating Device, a traditional method of providing artificial haven where small fish species gather and attract big fish which prey on them.
“If proven viable, the DA-BFAR will establish a pilot project in one of the island fishing communities in Tawi-tawi or Sulu,” Piñol said.