RENEWABLE energy company Citicore Power inaugurated on Tuesday its first 25-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Silay City, Negros Occidental, which is expected to power 30,000 homes connected to the Visayas grid.
The solar farm spans 43 hectares and boasts more than 96,000 photovoltaic (PV) modules.
Project engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) was done by Megawide Construction Corp. while the Land Bank of the Philippines provided the funding for the P2.2 billion project cost.
The plant is expected to offset 18,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year – equivalent to planting 800,000 trees over the life of the facility.
The event was attended by representatives of the local government, Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
DOE figures show that more than 1,000 MW of solar power will soon come from Negros Occidental once all targeted projects in the area are commissioned.
“This is a very significant milestone for us as we complete the first batch of Citicore’s projects, beginning with the Silay plant,” said Manolo Candelaria, Citicore Power executive vice president, adding that Negros Occidental is the optimal location for solar power production.
Silay City officials welcomed the new plant, saying the Citicore-led project created almost 500 new jobs in the area.
“This facility helps ensure not only the continued supply of electricity for Negros Island but it also boosts Silay City’s position as an ideal location for job-generating green investments,” Silay City Mayor Jose Montelibano said.
Former Negros Occidental Gov. Lito Coscolluela, an investment advisor to current Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr., lauded the project, explaining that it supports the energy, environment and tourism thrusts of the provincial government.
“This power station firmly puts Silay City and Negros Occidental on the map. It is a big adventure towards a more sustainable future,” Coscolluela said.
Candelaria disclosed that Citicore Power is also launching other solar power projects in key areas in the Visayas and Luzon. “We are also inaugurating a 20-MW solar farm in Bataan by the end of February,” he said
At the event, Citicore Power renewed its commitment to mitigating the effects of global warming in the Philippines, which has been hit by abnormally strong typhoons such as Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which battered Central Philippines in November 2013.
“I believe the international community has already achieved momentum in the call for renewable energy, especially after the recent Paris Climate Conference,” said Candelaria.
“The Department of Energy is leading a bold transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and we are proud to partner with them in this effort and in future collaborations. It is time for us to do our part in reducing carbon emissions and for RE to take center stage in the Philippines,” he said.
Citicore Power is a renewable energy company committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through solar, wind, hydro, and biomass projects across the Philippines. A subsidiary of Citicore Investment Holdings Inc., Citicore Power aims to partner with stakeholders to uplift the communities where it operates.