More solar projects coming to Mindanao

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THE government is fast-tracking the approval of at least 28 solar power projects with a combined potential capacity of more than 400 megawatts (MW) in Mindanao to ensure that the region continues to enjoy affordable and clean energy.

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Romeo Montenegro, director for Investment Promotions and Public Affairs Office of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), said the project proponents have already applied for the necessary permits.

He said their papers are now pending at the One-Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center (OSFMC), which is also fast tracking other renewable energy (RE) initiatives in Mindanao.

“The OSFMC ensures that facilitation and the fast-tracking of these energy projects are given utmost importance in order that Mindanao will continue to enjoy an affordable, reliable, and clean energy source,” he said.

The top projects include the 35-MW Darong solar power project of PhilNewEnergy, Inc. in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur; the 20-MW Kirahon solar power project of Kirahan Solar Energy Corp. in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; as well as the 35-MW ICOM solar power project of the local government of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of MinDA, said that with the OSFMC’s help, the approval of renewable energy projects will be expedited.

“This is also in line with our Mindanao 2020 goals of having a 50-50 energy mix of renewable energy and non-renewable energy,” said Antonino.

Besides monitoring pending renewable energy projects, the OSFMC also facilitated a number of prospective and existing power investors since it was launched in October last year.

The OSFMC is an initiative of MinDA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability (B-LEADERS) Project.

The OSFMC was put up to help address Mindanao’s power supply deficit by fast-tracking the approval process of RE projects.

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