by Milwida M. Guevarra, 17 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin
Calatagan, Batangas – After pioneering the nation’s first large-scale solar rooftop projects, Solar Philippines claims a new frontier with the launch of the largest solar farm in Luzon.
At the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 50 MW project in Calatagan, Batangas, attended by officials from the local and national government, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste marked the event as a turning point for renewable energy in Batangas, which is home to both the nation’s largest number of fossil fuel plants and various eco-tourism destinations.
The ground-mounted system will comprise over 150,000 solar panels, covering over 75 hectares of land owned by the company. Once completed this year, it shall generate enough energy to power the majority of the entire province of Batangas. Over three decades of operation, it is expected to offset over 1 million tons of CO2, equivalent to planting over 5 million trees.
Solar Philippines will develop, co-finance, design, and construct the project, the first time that any local company has taken an integrated approach to solar farm development – allowing Solar Philippines to complete this project in record time.
“This is the first of many solar farms that we shall launch this year, and are in discussions with landowners across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” said Leviste. “Taking the same approach as for our rooftop projects, we’ve integrated development, financing, and construction all-in-one, allowing us to move faster in meeting the Department of Energy’s solar targets for 2015.”
Leviste took the occasion to issue a call to action to other landowners: “This is the year to convert unproductive lands into solar farms. What we have done to the rooftops of malls and factories, we shall do for solar farms, and we welcome all willing partners to join us in finally turning this vision into a reality.”
The company plans to complete no less than 200 MW in 2015, and has secured over a dozen Renewable Energy Service Contracts to develop projects near major cities across the country.
Solar Philippines is the country’s No. 1 solar provider and Southeast Asia’s largest developer of rooftop power plants. The country’s first all-in-one solar financing, design, and construction company, it installs solar on rooftops at zero cost, supplying electricity at below utility rates. With a team of 125 veterans from the solar, construction, and power industries, the company is growing fast to meet the need for affordable, clean, distributed generation.