Bronzeoak, partners complete 4 solar farms

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FOUR new solar farms with a combined generation capacity of 98 megawatts have been completed in recent weeks by Bronzeoak Philippines and its partners.

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All four plants have been fully tested by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), registered with the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and grid approved for full power export.

As required by the Department of Energy (DOE) and NGCP, all four plants can be independently verified by the grid system operator as operating and exporting power from each of their power generating inverters well before the March 15 deadline in order for the proponents to avail of the feed-in tariff (FIT) mechanism.

The first of the four plants to meet all the requirements set forth by the DOE and NGCP is the 18-MW solar farm in Bais City, Negros Oriental owned by Monte Solar Energy Inc. (MonteSol) a partnership between Bronzeoak and Ayala unit AC Energy Holdings Inc.

It is located near the Cebu-Negros undersea cable and helps meet the rapidly growing daytime power requirements of Dumaguete and Cebu.

Montesol’s 18-MW facility is the first phase of the targeted total of 50 MW to be completed by the joint venture.

The new solar farm will occupy a land area of 213,292 square meters and is expected to generate 24,205 megawatt hours of electricity annually. That is sufficient to supply the equivalent of 10,085 households in the region and offset 14,838 tons of carbon emissions (CO2) every year.

The next three plants, accounting for a combined generation capacity of 80 MW and also located in Negros Occidental, are owned by Negros Island Solar Power Inc. (IslaSol), a joint venture between Bronzeoak, the Macquarie-managed Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) Fund, and Dutch pension fund manager APG.

The three plants — with 18 MW and 14 MW located in La Carlota City and 48 MW located in the municipality of Manapla — have also met all the DOE and NGCP requirements and are currently providing daytime power to the seven million people living in Negros Occidental and Panay’s four provinces.

When connected, the farms are anticipated to supply over 120,000 kilowatts per hour (kWh) of daytime peak power to the Luzon-Visayas grid and estimated to deliver electricity to some 200,000 homes across the region.

This new batch of 80 MW is the second venture between Bronzeoak and the PINAI Fund. The first was the 45-MW Sacasol plant in San Carlos City, which started operations in 2014.

The largest investor in the PINAI Fund, and thus the biggest shareholder in the 125 MW solar portfolio, is the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), thereby giving all government employees a stake in the success of solar energy to help continue to power the country’s economic growth.

The solar projects bring PINAI’s solar assets in the country to a total of 125 megawatts, adding 80 MW to its first 45 MW transaction.

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