Aetas okay $200-m Subic solar project

By Bloomberg, December 18, 2014
from Manila Standard

The Philippines’ indigenous Aeta community has signed an agreement that paves the way for the construction of a pioneering renewable energy facility on their ancestral land in Subic Bay, north of Manila.

Aeta tribal chieftain Conrado Frenilla and Aeta elder Bonifacio Florentino signed a memorandum of agreement on Dec. 12 with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and local firm Jobin SQM Inc. for the $200-million project, SBMA said in a statement.

SBMA is overseeing the conversion of the former military base into an economic growth center.

Jobin SQM has formed a joint venture with HydroChina International Engineering Co. for the construction of the facility, which is targeting 150 megawatts of combined solar and wind energy.

It will be located inside an 800-hectare (1,977- acre) area of the Aeta ancestral domain on former military base Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the statement said.

The project seeks to “accelerate the exploration and development of renewable energy sources, increase utilization of such and promote their efficient and cost-effective commercial application,” SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia said.

The alternative energy project was formally committed during President Benigno Aquino’s state visit to China in September 2011. HydroChina operates projects involving hydropower and water conservation, solar and electric power, and ports, highways and buildings.

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