AboitizPower’s P3.7-billion solar power plant in Negros opens

by Roderick AbadApril 19, 2016

from Business Mirror

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—Aboitiz Power Corp. (AboitizPower), through its subsidiary San Carlos Sun Power Inc., officially launched on Tuesday its P3.7-billion sun-powered plant, which can generate 82 gigawatt-hours of clean and renewable energy (RE) a year to the Visayas grid.

The guest of honor was President Aquino. Located within the San Carlos Ecozone in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City on the eastern side of Negros Island, the 59-megawatt (MW) San Carlos Sun (SacaSun) project is AboitizPower’s first venture into solar energy.

It forms part of AboitizPower’s growing Cleanergy portfolio and thrust to help address the growing requirement for electricity here and abroad.

AboitizPower CEO Erramon I. Aboitiz said the global demand for RE is significantly increasing and the call for 100-percent RE by 2050 is gaining momentum worldwide in the face of climate change.

He said the Philippines is among the countries deemed most vulnerable to its dire effects, and this is why local investments in RE are now gaining ground, as well.

At present, the country’s RE portfolio is at 32 percent of dependable capacity, much higher than the global energy mix of 23 percent.

The Department of Energy (DOE) aims to triple RE capacity by 2030, under the National Renewable Energy Plan, which lessens greenhouse gases to help meet the national target of reducing its emission by 70 percent in the same year.

This initiative is part of the Philippines’s intended nationally determined contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“While the Philippines accounts for only 0.3 percent of the global greenhouse emission, AboitizPower fully supports the government’s call to further reduce our carbon footprint,” the top executive said.

“AboitizPower is one of the country’s producers of renewable energy and our Cleanergy portfolio generates 1,263 MW, or close to 40 percent of the total net sellable capacity of our group. This represents our commitment to support the government’s push for a balance of renewable and nonrenewable-power sources to address the country’s increasing energy demand,” he said.

Prior to its inauguration, SacaSun already started its energy distribution to the Visayas grid on March 9.

It was ahead of the March 15 enrollment deadline set by the DOE for solar-power projects under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) program.

Given this, the project’s clean-energy power output is seen to qualify for FiT incentives and get priority dispatch in the electricity spot market under the FiT rate for solar power at P8.69 per kilowatt-hour.

With its capacity, this plant can provide enough power supply to 33,000 households, and it could help avoid the emission of around 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.

SacaSun employed over 4,000 workers throughout its construction stage, which began in August last year. About 80 percent of them came from the host community and around 1,500 were women.

AboitizPower is among the country’s leading developers and operators of RE power plants, mostly from its wide portfolio of hydro, geothermal and solar power plants.

Other RE projects in the pipeline include SN Aboitiz Power’s 8.5-MW Maris Canal in Isabela, Hedcor’s 68-MW Manolo Fortich Hydro Plan in Bukidnon and Aseagas 8.8-MW biomass-power facility in Batangas.

“We are on track in achieving our goal to increase AboitizPower’s attributable generating capacity to 4,000 MW by 2020,” the CEO said. “We will continue to provide a sustainable solution for our country’s growing demand for power and to energize the dreams and hopes of our fellow Filipinos for a better future.”

“I’m hopeful that even if I step down, Aboitiz can remain to be a consistent partner and continue its thread of working with the government, investing in the Filipino people, and helping shape a better future from mankind. And I am quite hopeful that the productive partnership can set an enduring framework by which sectors, public and private, converge to build the nation that we can be proud to bequeath to the next generation,” President Aquino said.

(With Lenie Lectura)