Solar PHL breaks ground for 150-MW solar farm

MANILA-- Solar Philippines, the country's largest producer of solar products, broke ground Friday for a 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Barangay Sta. Rosa, Concepcion in Tarlac province.

The solar farm, considered to be the largest in the country and the first to be built under the Duterte administration, will make use of batteries for a stable, 24/7 power supply and will demonstrate renewable energy as mid-merit and even baseload.

The Concepcion solar farm will be outfitted with solar panels produced by Solar Philippines in its 600-MW factory in Batangas province.

This is a new day for the power industry, declared Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste. The dream of renewable energy with storage as mid-merit and even baseload is not five, 10, or 20 years (away) but that dream has finally come.

Leviste acknowledged the support of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its thrust towards a technology-neutral policy in finding viable solutions for the country's power requirements.

He said this has paved the way for industry players, such as solar energy producers, to fill in the gaps between fossil fuel and other forms of power generation.

A least-cost energy policy will allow solar to supply the majority of the incremental requirements of the Philippines from here on, announced the 24-year-old entrepreneur.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi was pleased to note that not only was Solar Philippines breaking ground but it already has on-site the inverters needed for the solar farm. This is no longer a ground-breaking ceremony but a work in progress, Cusi said.

He also noted the importance of having an additional power plant, especially as the summer months approach when electricity costs are higher due to increased consumption.

As of now, the Philippine demand is something over 13,000 MW while our supply is only a little over 14,000 MW. Supply is barely meeting demand. We need more, the energy chief said.

For the Philippines, we have set our target to have a 25 percent reserve from peak demand so that we can encourage investment and industries. We can have security in supply and we can have that reliable, 24/7 electricity supply.

Cusi also remarked that such a plant would be good for peaking when electricity demand spikes.

Once the plant utilizes batteries and is able to supply electricity even at night, that will be a welcome development for the country, he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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