SunAsia building big 60-MW solar plant in Toledo

by Alena Mae S. Flores – November 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm

from Manila Standard

SunAsia Energy Inc. is building a 60-megawatt solar power plant in Toledo, Cebu province that could cost around $120 million, the biggest renewable energy facility in the island.

SunAsia president Tetchi Capellan, a former agriculture undersecretary, said in a statement the plant would occupy approximately 70 hectares of land and install about 200,000 hi-grade solar panels, all manufactured according to European standards.

Capellan said unlike other solar projects, SunAsia would align itself with nature to preserve the existing landscape of the project area.

“Baltao Farms is presently home to a number of cattle, carabao, goats, and chicken. As planned and designed, the present land use will be preserved for livestock production and only a fraction of the the area in the farms will contain panels and infrastructure,” said Capellan.

She said the solar modules would be arranged in 5,000 arrays spread in the 70-hectare property. The plant layout allows the modules to be raised off the ground to allow small animals to graze the area.

“Grass will be grown under and in between the solar arrays, thereby preserving the feedstock production for consumption by the animals,” Capellan said.

SunAsia Energy tapped global engineering partners from Germany to accommodate the existing stocking density to harmonize agribusiness with solar plant operations. SunAsia Energy plans to complete the plant by February 15, 2016, ahead of the March 2016 target, to avail of the feed-in tariff for solar power projects under the Renewable Energy Law.

The 60-MW solar plant is expected to generate some 861,199 megawatthours annually, based on the system impact study report prepared by Power Systems Research and Consultancy Group,.

Using the formula of the United Nations, with the 2011 baseline period when fossil fuel share in the Philippine generation mix is at 30 percent, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that the Toledo Solar Power Plant can contribute will be about 38,936 tons yearly.

About 1.72 million metric tons of carbon emission, thus, will be reduced for 20 years.

“This reduction in carbon emissions coming from solar energy power plants will help mitigate climate change. There are several fossil fuel based power plants in the province of Cebu and the presence of Toledo Solar Project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the area,” Capellan said.

“If we translate this metrics into layman terms, the arithmetical equivalent of the reduction in carbon emissions is about 2,156 trees planted per year. For 20 years, the total number of trees will be 1,557,440 trees,” she said.