First PH solar power plant inaugurated

8
The first solar power plant in Visayas was inaugurated on Thursday in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. From left are Energy Regulatory Commission chief Josefina Patricia Asirit, Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd, San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. Chairman Jose Maria Zabaleta and President Jose Maria Zabaleta Jr.   Photo By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The first solar power plant in Visayas was inaugurated on Thursday in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. From left are Energy Regulatory Commission chief Josefina Patricia Asirit, Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd, San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. Chairman Jose Maria Zabaleta and President Jose Maria Zabaleta Jr. Photo By Madelaine B. Miraflor

San Carlos City, Negros Occidental: President Benigno Aquino 3rd urged the developer of the country’s first and biggest solar power plant to expand outside the Visayas region to meet the growing power demand in the country.

The San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (Sacasol), the first large-scale commercially financed and commissioned solar power plant in the Philippines, officially started operations on Thursday.

During the inauguration of the project held in Negros Occidental, Aquino invited the developers of the project to put up more plants outside the Visayas region.

The 22-megawatt solar power project is being developed by Bronzeoak Philippines and Swiss-German firm ThomasLloyd.


“Sacasol is leading the way in solar power since this is the first solar project to be commissioned in the Visayas,” Aquino said.

“Perhaps I can invite Bron–zeoak Philippines to consider venturing outside of Negros Occidental—which currently hosts all your projects—and putting up even more power plants elsewhere in the Philippines, maybe as a continuation of this partnership with Thomas Lloyd Cleantech. Investments like this are what our country needs,” he further said.

Located at the San Carlos Ecozone in Negros, the project is being developed in two Phases: Phase 1 with 13 MW and Phase 2 with an additional 9 MW.

Phase 1, which involves  approximately P2-billion worth of investment, was the one that started operations, while phase 2 is set for commercial operations by June this year.

In an interview, Sacasol Chairman Jose Maria Zabaleta told The Manila Times that the company is always on the lookout for opportunities outside Negros Occi–dental but for the meantime they still want to utilize all their resources in the province.

Zableta said the company is already gearing up for the development of four additional solar power plants in San Carlos to be operational by the summer of 2015.

“The success of this project [Sacasol] has opened the door for us to develop and finance other solar power plants,” the project chief said. For each plant, Zabaleta said they would invest about P2 billion.

Thomas Lloyd is a leading global investment banking and investment management group dedicated solely to the renewable energy and cleantech sectors, while Bronzeoak Philippines is a privately owned company that specializes in the renewable energy project development.

Meanwhile, Alexander Lenz, Conergy president for Asia and Middle East operations, said in a separate interview that Philippines is the most ideal place among other Southeast Asian countries to put up solar power plants in.

Conergy AG is a German-based firm that supplied the 22 solar power inverters and 88,000 photovoltaic modules for the whole Sacasol project.

Lenz described the country as an “ideal” place to invest in solar power plants because of its geographical location.

“We are also looking at other projects in the country with other companies. We just signed another 8-megawatt [solar power]project with another [local]firm to be developed within the year but we can’t disclose [the details]yet,” Lenz told the Times.

Conergy is also present in other Asian countries such as Thailand.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

8 Comments

  1. Sing praise for the green revolution all you want, solar and wind are far off from becoming a replacement for fossil fuels, hydroelectric, and nuclear power. At best it serves as a neat little way to funnel subsidy money to a trash project, costing billions, generating very little, and taking up tons of precious space that would otherwise be used for buildings, agriculture, or preservation.

    The poster child for green energy, Germany, has been using more fossil fuels as it closed down its nuclear power plants in an effort to depend on green energy. UK citizens are vehemently opposed to the plan to surround most of its coast with wind turbines due to it ruining the scenery and the noise it generates to some towns.

    Renewable energy may some day be very efficient – at the moment it is too costly and carries many disadvantages in relation to fossil fuels and other more efficient sources. Government subsidies do not help the situation. We have to stop clamoring for the state to intervene in matters, and let free markets work out what the people need.

  2. SinampalukangManok on

    Lots of things iffy about this investment. My first question is why deal with a German/Swiss company (2 nations we basically are just cordial with except maybe our rich elite with german cars and swiss bank accts) when there is already an American/French (our like, bbf? Big bro forevs?) company with a couple of manufacturing plants and capable pinoy technical peeps in southern luzon, reducing importation and installation costs? Question 2 is how are we “ideal” for solar arrays (omg not even trackers but just fixed arrays) when instead of a single wide, flat land mass we’ve got mountaneous islands? Question 3 is since we are a bunch of islands, isn’t it more prudent to invest in the best power-per-area tech? The same manufacturer comes to mind.
    But I may just be doing a so-pinoy brand consciousness thing.
    Overall this project seems gimmicky to me. Just IMO. Totally hope I’m wrong here. Best of luck on this endeavor.

  3. Randy Salazar on

    Congratulations Negros Island! All it takes is will power. My hats off to you for this green move. Thumbs up!

  4. Oh yes, for every government action, there is a corresponding reaction. Putting up additional (IPP) SACASOL a.k.a. independent Solar Power plant venture is going to be costly as Noynoy forewarned them. Harnessing the sun’s energy entails a lot of spending as they need to buy the sun’s power direct to the Almighty.

  5. Westlooking on

    It’s sad to see the Philippines invest in costly technology with such a short life span. Money could be better spent on solar reflectors that collectively use the suns power to heat water to steam, thus turning generators, vs oil or coal. Those mirrors are relatively low cost, have a long life and are scalable. If you have ever used a magnifying glass, harnessing the suns energy, to burn paper or wood then you can understand, pragmatically, what I am referring to here. Salamat Po

    • I don’t understand your disapproval. Photovoltaic energy is not limited to electrical output, it can and does have multi use, including heating water to produce steam powered generators. In fact, using reflectors to do just this one job seems counterproductive.
      Then again, we understand that the government (read: Meralco and their counterparts) want a piece of the action, thus electricity production it is.

  6. Philippine President Benigno Aquino3rd deserves congratulations for having envisioned the introduction of the 1st solar project now in operation in Negros. More of such projects are needed in the country, more so in Yolanda ravaged provinces such as Leyte and Samar.

    • Do you think he instucted the company to install them. This is business like anybody else. They want profit not badings.