Leviste: Solar farms are “beneficial” for landowners, community

Solar PH – Catalagan

While solar farms are criticized for taking over parcels of land, saying they could have been used for agriculture, Solar Philippines Founder and CEO Leandro Leviste said that these can be beneficial to both landowners and the locals. 

“The reason we’re able to buy it off the current owners is that they aren’t getting much income from the land. Some of these lands are unirrigated rice lands, pasturelands, sugarcane [farms] that may not be a very good investment for some of these owners nowadays,”  Leviste said in the latest episode of Power Podcast

“We are hopeful that the change of ownership of these lands will benefit the owners who will be able to make better use of the land as proceeds. But moreover, [it] will be able to create more and better-paying employment for the locals whereas the land was previously unproductive,” he added. 

Leviste had also said that obtaining land and permits for solar project locations is one of the main bottlenecks in developing solar farms in the country. Nevertheless, these projects are welcomed by the community. 

“Compared to other power plants and even agribusinesses, it’s relatively easy to get the local communities to embrace the solar projects because here you have something that not only is producing electricity that will solve our country’s power demand needs but also create good employment without having negative externalities,” Leviste said. 

Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation, which owns the 500-MW solar ranch in Penaranda, Nueva Ecija,  is looking to raise Php 10 billion through a stock rights offering in order to purchase land for its 10GW target portfolio. 

Catch the full episode of Power Podcast with Solar Philippines Founder and CEO Leandro Leviste on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.