Solar PHL to boost capacity of Luzon grid with 150-MW solar plant in Tarlac

By Lenie Lectura – April 29, 2019
from Business Mirror

SOLAR Philippines’s Power Project Holdings Inc. will boost the capacity of the Luzon grid through its 150-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Tarlac that recently began operations.

Company President Leandro Leviste said the firm’s Tarlac solar farm has a full capacity of 150 MW, which can help address the Luzon grid’s power shortage, which in recent days has ranged from 100 MW to 200 MW. The additional supply means averting rotating blackouts for up to 500,000 households, bigger than the entire residential demand of Tarlac.

Early this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) warned that unscheduled shutdowns of coal plants would result in rotating blackouts and higher prices, as more expensive diesel plants run instead. This has resulted in the Meralco generation charge rising to P5.6322 per kilowatt hour (kWh) as reflected in April electricity rates.

Solar Philippines’s 150-MW solar farm is the largest solar-power generation facility in the country. The company has inked a contract with Meralco to sell power from its Tarlac facility at P2.9999 per kWh, making it the lowest-cost power plant in the Philippines and the lowest-cost solar plant in Southeast Asia. This is especially appropriate since solar farms generate the most power on summer days, when wholesale electricity spot market prices exceed P7 per kWh.

To keep costs low, the Tarlac project uses panels manufactured at Solar Philippines’s facility, the first Filipino solar-panel factory, and is developed, constructed, owned and operated by the Solar Philippines group.

“We are inspired to think that our actions are making a tangible difference for the Philippines, and will intensify our efforts to bring low-cost solar energy to every Filipino,” Leviste said. The company has a manufacturing plant in Santo  Tomas, Batangas, that produced solar panels with an equivalent capacity of 800 MW in 2017. Its target output in 2018 was 2,000 MW.