SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP), the joint venture of Aboitiz Power Corporation and SN Power of Norway, is planning to increase its floating solar portfolio with its pilot project already proven viable.
SNAP President and CEO Joseph Yu said the company’s floating solar project within the Magat Dam complex has been proven technically and commercially viable, based on the results of its pilot project and initial pre-feasibility study.
The company switched on its first 200-kilowatt (kW) floating solar project over Magat Dam, its first non-hydroelectric renewable energy (RE) project, in June 2019.
With the pilot project’s success, SNAP’s board has approved the project to move forward to engineering design via a feasibility study for at least 67 megawatts (MW), also to be placed on the Magat reservoir. Yu said the feasibility study is expected to run for 10-12 months.
SNAP has owned and operated the 380-MW Magat hydro plant on the Isabela-Ifugao border since acquiring it from the government in 2007. Magat was the first successful privatization deal with significant foreign participation under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
The Magat Dam itself and its re-regulation facilities, meanwhile, remained under state ownership through the National Irrigation Administration.
In 2019, SNAP invested nearly Php24 million for the pilot floating solar project, which was placed over a 2,500-square meter area over the Magat reservoir. The company partnered with Norwegian floating solar technology provider Ocean Sun to install the panels, which now provides internal power to SNAP’s Magat facilities.
Inspired by the Amazon water lily, the 200-kW floating solar facility is made up of 720 solar panels on a circular installation held in place by four mooring systems.
The success of the floating solar project would prompt SNAP to scale up the facility so it would be able to contribute to the country’s RE portfolio and to its energy security.
SNAP is also eyeing other locations for its floating solar expansion projects.