Solar Philippines said that it is finalizing agreements with various power generation companies (gencos) to utilize a total of 10,000 hectares for their respective solar power projects.
The sites, according to Solar Philippines, are mostly near its existing projects in Batangas, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija. These are being offered to gencos under a new subsidiary, Solar Energy Zones, Inc. (SEZ), which will be independent from Solar Philippines’ power plant business.
“Our aim is no longer to compete with the country’s power companies, but to enable them to build projects, to ensure that solar soon becomes the largest source of new energy in the Philippines,” Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste said in a statement.
Leviste noted that while there is significant demand for new solar plants, there is a scarcity of sites. With the SEZs in place, he said this will make it easy for gencos with plans of putting up solar farms to locate in the said lands and start construction that same year.
“This would not be possible had we not begun the development of these sites six years ago, when others did not believe that large-scale solar would be viable. Now the power industry is convinced that it is, we are making available these sites to help others enter the market,” Leviste added.
The company’s SEZ’s are inspired by the solar parks of India, where companies co-locate solar projects in large shovel-ready sites with common facilities that benefit from economies of scale. This model is helping India lower solar’s barriers to entry and become one of the world’s fastest-growing solar markets.
Solar Philippines said it will be announcing over the coming months several projects of other power companies to be constructed in its zones over the next five years. The capacity of these will be multiple times greater than the country’s total solar capacity to date, making solar a major share of the country’s energy mix.
Back in January, Solar Philippines formed a joint venture with AC Energy to build solar farms nationwide, mostly in Central Luzon. It also plans to develop a 2,000-megawatt peak (MWp) plant in Nasugbu, Batangas and a 500MW solar farm on an old ranch in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija.
The company currently operates a 63.3MW solar farm in Calatagan, also in Batangas.