Aboitiz to focus on Magat, Ambuklao, Binga for floating solar projects


Aboitiz Power Corporation, the country’s largest power generation company (genco), said it will focus on putting up floating solar projects in the Magat, Ambuklao, and Binga reservoirs — all in Northern Luzon — instead of the Laguna De Bay.

AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said that the company did not consider the Laguna Lake since it is expecting problems in the installation of such facilities around the country’s largest lake.

AC Energy and MERALCO PowerGen Corporation are among the gencos planning to put up floating solar projects in the Laguna De Bay.

Rubio pointed out that putting up floating solar projects in the Laguna Lake would entail applying for service contracts. This would not be the case in the three reservoirs, wherein the company owns the hydroelectric plants nearby, namely the 380-megawatt (MW) Magat on the Isabela-Ifugao border, and the 105MW Ambuklao and 140MW Binga in Benguet.

Rubio added that subsidiary SN Aboitiz Power’s (SNAP) pilot floating solar project in Magat proved to be feasible and that these could handle typhoons. Switched on in 2019, the existing 200-kilowatt facility is SNAP’s first non-hydropower venture.

Based on the results of the pre-feasibility studies, phase one of the new Magat project will generate 67MW, with a plan to install capacity of up to 150MW, depending on the final technical solution and layout.

SNAP invested nearly Php24 million for the pilot floating solar facility, located within a 2,500-square meter area over the Magat reservoir. It currently supplies power to most of Magat’s internal facilities, such as the control room, air-conditioning, and lights.

A total of 720 solar panels held in place by four mooring systems make up the circular floating solar installation, which has a design inspired by the Amazon water lily. SNAP teamed up with Norwegian floating solar provider Ocean Sun for the Magat pilot project.

AboitizPower earlier said that it would invest around Php190 billion to up its renewable energy assets to half of its total generation portfolio by 2030.