A LEADING Asian renewable energy group signed on Wednesday, July 22, a lease agreement with the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the development of a solar farm as an alternative renewable energy source for the master planned Clark Green City.
SSR C-Solar Power Inc., a domestic corporation engaged in solar energy use, signed the 25-year lease agreement for the P1-billion solar energy project with BCDA for the construction and development of a solar farm on a 25-hectare parcel of land within the Green City.
The lease agreement is renewable for another 25 years wherein the company will use the leased property to develop its photovoltaic power generation and operations in accordance with the Clark Green City master plan’s “green, smart and disaster-resilient developments.”
The initial number of panels to be installed in the property will generate a target output of 20 megawatts (MW) or 20,000 kilowatts and is expected to supply electricity to at least 10,000 households.
Once completed, this will be the second largest solar farm in the country next to the 50 MW solar farm project in Calatagan, Batangas.
“Clark Green City will lead the way in providing clean, sustainable power,” Arrey Perez, BCDA manager for business development, said.
He added that hosting renewable solar power facilities is just one of the many environmental-friendly features of the Green City, noting that aside from SSR C-Solar, another 100 MW solar energy contract is in the offing.
While the Philippines’ current electricity supply is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, solar power generation has emerged worldwide as one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity.
The construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in the last quarter of this year.
“We want to create a Green City that is unique, using solar power as an alternative source of energy. This partnership will be nurtured over the years. Together, we will move forward with critical infrastructure that could define the identity of a modern and
sustainable city for our country,” BCDA president and CEO Arnel Paciano Casanova said.
He added that solar power has emerged as a viable alternative which will address major power concerns such as supply, spending and environmental impact.
The succeeding number of solar panels to be installed and the corresponding increase in MW will generate enough energy to meet the power requirements of a substantial number of residences in the Green City.
A flagship project of the BCDA under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, Clark Green City is pegged as a ‘city in a farm’ on a 9,450-hectare metropolis located at the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).
The Green City was patterned after Songdo, South Korea’s Green City, which features sustainable buildings and efficient energy sources, and Singapore’s City in a Garden master plan where communities are engaged and inspired to sustain a greener environment.
The BCDA also adopted the best practices it learned from building the world-class Bonifacio Global City into creating the Green City.
The BCDA chief said the government supports the development of alternative energy sources such as solar.
Fossil fuels draw on finite resources that may eventually become too expensive to retrieve while solar energy source is generally unlimited in availability, Casanova added.
The Clark Green City is eyed to be the country’s first smart, green, and disaster-resilient metropolis which is expected to break ground in 2016.