Solar Philippines’ 150MW farm to be completed in 2017

Solar Philippines’ 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Concepcion, Tarlac will be completed by 2017 and address the issue of intermittence experienced by most renewable energy (RE) projects, its top official said yesterday.

Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said during the BusinessWorld Economic Forum that the site is expected to be the home to the country’s largest solar farm.

“It’s going to be the biggest in the country and most importantly, the largest unsubsidized solar in the world and the largest solar with batteries,” Leviste said.

He is hoping that the solar farm will be a game changer for fossil fuel in companies in the country.

“[Hopefully, it] will make them consider maybe instead of building coal let us shift to solar,” he said, adding that solar would be a better business since that there would be “no fuel requirements, no operating risks nor regulatory risks.”

The Tarlac farm batteries will be made of lithium ion, the same technology used in electric vehicles.

“Now you can find batteries at $200 (P9, 441.10) per kilowatt-hour. At the start of this decade it was at $1,000 (P47, 205. 50) per kilowatt-hour.”

“I regret that the renewable energy industry up until now, has not given much reason for fossil fuel companies to think that way because they have been asking for subsidies,” he said in the forum. “And I think the only way to show definitely our claims to be true is to have a working solar farm that does just this.”

Leviste said the solar farm would show that solar power is now cheaper, cleaner and more reliable that fossil fuels.

*PHP = 47.21