PhilCarbon optimistic on renewable-energy projects

by Lenie Lectura – February 29, 2016

from Business Mirror

PHILCARBON Inc., a renewable-energy company chaired by former Energy Secrtary Rufino Bomasang, is bullish on its other power projects with Citicore Power, following the completion of the 25-megawatt (MW) solar project in Silay, Negros Occidental, last week.

“The inauguration of the 25-MW solar plant is, therefore, a milestone event not only for Silay, but for the entire Philippines in terms of enhancing national-energy security. Just as important, it is a milestone event for the entire world in its march toward a carbon-free environment,” Bomasang said.

The Silay solar-power farm spans 43 hectares and includes over 96,000 photovoltaic modules. The facility is expected to power 30,000 homes connected to the Visayas grid.

The plant is expected to help avoid 18,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, equivalent to planting 800,000 trees over the life of the facility.

Citicore Power has tapped Megawide Construction Corp. as the engineering, procurement, construction contractor for the project.

PhilCarbon and Megawide have agreed to jointly develop a portfolio of renewable-energy projects, ranging from biomass, wind, hydro, solar and geothermal, with a capacity of 100MW and with investments of about $100 million.

With the completion of the Silay solar project, PhilCarbon is now focusing its efforts on other projects being developed with Citicore Power, such as the 87-MW La Carlota solar farm in Negros Occidental and the 12-MW Himamaylan Biomass Project in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental.

“Never in my 40-year involvement in promoting indigenous-energy development did I ever dream that in 2016, PhilCarbon would be a partner in a company that would be inaugurating a 25-MW solar-power plant in Silay,” Bomasang added.

He said during the 1970s and 1980s, “the energy department was only talking about solar-home systems generating several watts and kilowatts, and even after the turn of the century, the largest Philippine solar-power plant was a 1-megawatt plant in Cagayan de Oro.”

PhilCarbon President Ruth Yu-Owen said the company is optimistic that the 25-MW solar project would be able to avail itself of the feed-in tariff, as the project was completed ahead of the March 15, 2016, deadline set by the Department of Energy.

“Renewable energy is the future of power generation. By investing in renewable energy, we are sowing the seeds for a cleaner and emission-free future,” Owen said.

The company is also developing the following projects with Upgrade Energy of Belgium, namely, the 1.814-MW Home Depot Solar rooftop project in Laguna; 1-MW Solaire solar-power project; 50-kilowatts Micro Hydro Project in Zamboanga City; 2.5-MW Manicahan River hydropower project in Zamboanga City; 600-kW Magat FRIS hydropower project in Isabela; and 33-MW wind project in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro.

There are also nine solar rooftop projects approved by LGU Guarantee Corp., which agreed to guarantee the project financing.

The company is also active in energy efficiency and energy-savings projects throughout the country.