Solar PHL switches on Calatagan solar farm ahead of DOE deadline

by Lenie Lectura – February 29, 2016

from Business Mirror

SOLAR Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc. (SPCRPI) has switched on its 63.3-megawatt (MW) Calatagan solar farm, just weeks before the March 15 deadline for solar-power providers to avail themselves of the feed-in-tariff (FiT).

SPCRPI claims to be the nation’s top solar provider and only all-in-one solar financing and construction company. It installs solar panels on rooftops at zero cost and supplies electricity to SM and Robinsons malls. To date, it generates 80 MW, and aims to make the Philippines a global leader in solar power.

“The 63.3-MW Calatagan solar farm is the largest solar project completed in the Philippines to date, and has started generating power weeks before the Department of Energy’s [DOE] deadline of March 15, 2016, ahead of other projects backed by conglomerates and foreign investors racing to secure the FiT,” the company said in a statement.

The solar plant comprises over 200,000 panels on a 160-hectare property. It is now supplying enough power for the entire Western Batangas. Over three decades of operation, it is expected to offset over 1 million tons of CO2, equivalent to planting over 5 million trees. During construction, the project employed 2,500 people, and is expected to continue to employ at least 100 people and boost the local economy of Batangas.

Solar Philippines developed, financed and constructed the project, marking the first time a local company has built a solar farm from end to end. This is also the only solar farm developed, financed and constructed exclusively by local companies.

The project was made possible through the support of Philippine Business Bank (PBB).

“We owe this success to banks like PBB, who support SMEs [small and medium enterprises] in emerging industries, as partners more than just as financial institutions,” SPCRPI CEO Leandro Leviste said. “Our banking partners have given unprecedented support, and we look forward to extending these partnerships into future projects.”

Other banks that supported the project include Banco de Oro, Chinabank and Bank of Commerce.

Solar Philippines will soon begin construction on its next projects in Mindanao and Luzon, and aims to complete 500 MW by 2017.